Sunday, April 25, 2010

Transcript of My Real Jesus Prayer

17 comments:

Ruth said...

I think we're all like that, Steve. And still he does have mercy. I love him.

Anonymous said...

Stream of consciousness/stream of conscience? Thanks for being real about how muddy that stream is.

I remember many years ago, late teens/early 20s, I really feared that some of my awful thoughts were possibly uniquely evil - like maybe no one else but the truly damned ever thought anything THAT bad, and I was sure about a dozen times a day that, well, THAT thought, that one I just had? That's it, I'm doomed.

I am pretty tired of convert zeal and you won't get much of that from me these days, but I have to say that one of the great things about Orthodoxy is that it teaches you how utterly banal your worst stuff really is.

oruaseht said...

In Bread & Water, Wine & Oil by Meletios Webber, he goes on at length about not being able to trust the mind as it hates being in the present with God. Always looking back or wandering forward. In this regard, the mind is truly the enemy of prayer. It all too frequently beats me! But, Christ is Risen! "let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." 1 Peter 3:4

ryan said...

Yours is so orderly.

Reader John said...

You've cut pretty close to the bone before, but this one is worthy of some award.
(My captcha, BTW, was "pleni," as in "pleni sunt cieli et terra" in the Latin Mass. Pleni, too, is my mind with such stuff in prayer.)

margaret said...

Funnily enough I can sort of manage the Jesus Prayer. It’s the Offices that get me. I have invented entire gnostic religions in the space of three psalms.

s-p said...

Anon/oruaseht, Indeed sin is the ultimate banality, and the present moment is an affront to the mind because it is where God meets us personally. We do not exist in the past or future, only "now".

ryan, LOL! Your monkey mind is still young, brother. I've trained mine to do tricks. :)

Rdr. John, Ah, you bring back memories of my altar boy days. Thanks!

margaret, as long as you don't ordain yourself a priestess and gather a congregation you have a chance yet. :)

Athanasia said...

The best thing my spiritual father ever taught me was "Confession is so boring. I hear the same thing over and over."

I get such comfort from that, knowing that there is nothing I cannot say to our Father God that He hasn't heard before - a no matter what He loves me anyway.

I'm with Ruth.

nothinghypothetical said...

I still don't buy it. Demons I've wrestled long have grown large and terrible.

And it isn't pride, but fear that tells me so.

Adam Sheehan said...

S-P,

Though I am not Eastern Orthodox, I wrestle with the same "freight train" of thoughts when I pray the hours.

But, here is a great quote from Thomas Merton that I found instructive and encouraging:

"A man whose memory and imagination are persecuting him with a crowd of useless or even evil thoughts and images may sometimes be forced to pray far better, in the depths of his murdered heart, than one whose mind is swimming with clear concepts and brilliant purposes and easy acts of love.

That is why it is useless to get upset when you cannnot shake off distractions. In the first place, you must realize they are unavoidable in the life of prayer. The necessity of kneeling and suffering submersion under a tidal wave of wild and inane images is one the standard trials of the contemplative life."

Though I wish I could offer some other quotes, I do know there are several Eastern Desert Fathers who wrote of intense battles with images and thoughts during prayer.

Yep, S-P, were all equally insane! ; )

PAX,

Adam

Fr. Sean Lotz said...

This morning during morning prayer I found my thoughts wandering to ... THIS VERY TRANSCRIPT OF WANDERING THOUGHTS!!! Quit that! Get out of my head. I'm supposed to be having my own fresh distractions. Now I'm borrowing your "hot chick at bus stop." Huh? Yes, those exact words flitted through my brain while I was praying. I have never thought those particular words in my life.

Truly, this was about the truest and funniest thing I have seen on the subject.

nothinghypothetical said...

There is a story of an elder (perhaps a saint) who told a novice of his not to worry about the thoughts running through his head while he was praying. After all, the birds fly over head as well there there is equally nothing that can be done about it.

s-p said...

Fr. Sean, It was flattering to have Orthographs translated into Polish, Greek and French but to be included in someone's logismoi during prayer is the ultimate. :)

Chocolatesa said...

Lol! I loved that :P An Orthodox cartoonist! how fun :P

Chocolatesa said...

ROFL! @ your reply to Fr. Sean!!!!

Moretben said...

Logismoi. I wonder if Father Meletios is right, and that it's worse now than ever before?

Eleison kai soson imas.

Bill M said...

Linked. I appreciated the discussion here on this one as well. Good stuff.