Thursday, May 17, 2012

Our Whole Life Becomes a Prayer

When we become aware that it is a loving God who makes all happen in the world and that we as individuals are powerless then our life becomes one of prayer.
Archimandrite Vasileios of the Iveron Monastery on Mount Athos says,
When he spiritually matures, when he recognizes his own powerlessness and the ineffable love of God, he becomes calm and everything proceeds on its own.  Everything becomes prayer. And so he is not praying only when he is in church, but his entire life becomes a prayer"
Our life as laymen or monks is the same.  It is one to realize that we are creatures of God and called to do his will.  Our challenge is to deal with the struggles of life in such a way as we gain humility and realize the love of God.  Once we see His love and power we will have a life filled with peace no matter what is happening around us.
Elder Vasileios says,
Because God is love, one realizes that the greatest blessings are the trials, not the easy things.... The way of Orthodoxy is filled with difficulties and crosses, but it yields you to the path wherein you glorify God for all things and are thankful for all things––the Resurrection.
When the soul is wedded to God the Word, then man understands the nature of things.  But before he weds God the Word, his soul is like a slave subjected to primitive devices.  When he sees that everything is united in Christ Jesus and the humble man is the great man––then he obtains another freedom.  He does not see things as separate and mechanical.  Everything proceeds without effort.
The Orthodox Way of Life is one of surrender.  A giving up of ones  ego-centeredness to the will of God with the guidance of the sacramental life of the Church. Without this surrender we will always feel inadequate in the face of the struggles of life in this world.
Elder Vasleios says,
If you feel weak... you must give everything and entrust everything to God.  If, therefore, I try to preserve my life in my own hands, by my own plans, I will in the end lose ti.  Whereas, if I say, "Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46), then I have already begun to live the eternal life, because I realize I have given myself to a power that exists before me and will exist after me.
We can find peace in this world through humility and love of God.
Elder Vasileios says,
Great is the one who is humble. Let us remember what the Lord said, "I thank Thee, O Father... that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes" (Luke 10:21)––to the humble, to the meek. Let us, therefore, love this humility and meekness, that we may receive the grace of God, that we may rejoice both in life and death without flaunting our joy, and that it may become a blessing for all of us.
Let our whole life become a prayer! 

Reference: The Orthodox Word, No 279, 2011, pp 158-170 

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post as always Fr. Deacon! I always enjoy reading your thoughts and insights on the Orthodox way of life and spirituality. Blessings. Fr. David


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