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2011-12-01 13:12:11 (UTC)

Great Macarius quote on prayer

We ought to pray, not according to just any bodily habit nor with a habit of loud noise nor out of a custom of silence or on bended knees. But we ought soberly to have an attentive mind, waiting expectantly on God until He comes and visits the soul by means of all of its openings and its paths and senses. And so we should be silent when we ought, and to pray with a cry, just as long as the mind is concentrated on God. For as when the body does any task, it is completely occupied with the work and all its members help one another, so also the soul should be totally concentrated on asking and on a loving movement toward the Lord, not wandering and dispersed by its thoughts but with concentration waiting expectantly for Christ.

And thus He will enlighten, teaching one how to ask, giving pure prayer that is spiritual and worthy of God and bestowing the gift of worship "in spirit and in truth." Take the example of a businessman. He is not content with only one way of making a profit, but he ambitiously stretches out in all directions to increase and multiply his profits. He tries one technique after the other and then runs still to something else, cautious only that he not incur a loss. So also let us develop in our souls versatility and expertise in order to obtain the genuine and great gain, namely, God, who teaches us how truly to pray. In this way the Lord finds rest in the well intended soul, making it a throne of glory, and He sits on it and takes His rest.

St. Macarius, Homily 33


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