Thursday, October 1, 2009

More on Jesus Prayer

"I have left Pharaoh,
The slavery in Egypt,

Following Moses,
To ascend Mt. Sinai (The ascent of Moses on Sinai is, since Gregory
of Nyssa's 'Life of Moses', a classical symbol of the spiritual life.) 

To climb Mt. Sinai,
Oh, how I desire
To arrive at the Holy Summit
While saying the prayer. (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)

The ascent is very hard;
Lord, give patience,
Firmness, strength, and power
To acquire the prayer. (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)

Above all obedience
Scripture, the cell,
And the very wise silence
Affirming the prayer. (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)

To say the prayer, (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)
One must reject
And chase from one's thought
All the things of this world.


At the outset, say the prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)
Vocally, with labor,
And later, with time,
It will descend to your heart.

Fix your attention well
On the words of the prayer. (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)
If not, you will get lost
In a world of imagination.

The clever one is irritated,
Aggravated by the prayer; (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)
Therefore, do not be afraid
when he wages war on you.

The words of the prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)
Carry savory fruits;
They are sweeter than honey.
You cannot imagine this,

And do not ask me
How the prayer works. ( Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!) 
I would not be able to explain it;
It is a divine mystery.

When you see the prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me)
Acting inside you,
Keep it carefully,
In great humility.

Reverend Elder,
My spiritual Moses,
Give your benediction
That I may acquire the prayer. (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)

The Virgin Mother of God,
The mystic hegumen,
Blesses all the monks
And gives them the prayer. (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)

Oh, how much I desire
To ascend Sinai,
To arrive at the Holy Summit,
Saying the prayer. (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!)"

Amen.

From 'Orthodox Spirituality and The Philokalia' pp.160-161by Archimandrite Placide Deseille, Translated by Anthony P. Gythiel, Eighth Day Press, Wichita Kansas, 2008



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