Articles and information about how to live an Orthodox Christian life. This includes prayer, fasting, repentance, holy communion and the other sacraments of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Without attention there is no prayer.
Prayer cannot be genuine if it is only on the level of active consciousness of the soul: that is, if one is merely thinking thoughts and saying words. For prayer to be true, it has to reach the level of the spirit; and one cannot reach that level until one first stands watch and thus rises above thoughts and images. That is why Christ said, "Watch and pray": prayer and watchfulness are inseparably bound. As St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, a nineteenth century Russian ascetic in the Philokalic tradition writes: "The essential, indispensable property of prayer is attention. Without attention there is no prayer." (The Arena, p. 85)
From Christ the Eternal tao by Hieromonk Damascene, p. 302-303