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Mindfulness

“The term “watchfulness” denotes unceasing vigilance within the heart. True prayer cannot be attained without watchfulness, just as vigilance cannot be conceived without inner prayer…Only through prayer and God’s grace can we hope to maintain mindfulness and freedom in the heart…Watchfulness is a spiritual method which, if sedulously practiced over a long period, completely frees us with God’s help from the impassioned thoughts, impassioned words, and evil actions. It leads, in so far as this is possible, to a sure knowledge of the inapprehensible God, and helps us to penetrate the divine and hidden mysteries.” (Dynamis 7/3/2022, Saint Hesychios)


“The Philokalia defines watchfulness as “literally the opposite of stupor.” It is “spiritual sobriety, alertness, vigilance”…When we are watchful, we are fully attentive to all that is going on in our heart, mind, and soul. And we are ready to resist temptation as it arises in the depths of our inner being. Therefore, the Philokalia says that “watchfulness is a continual fixing and halting of thought at the entrance to the heart”…” (Fr. Basil)


“How do we gain watchfulness? We have to know what to be on guard against. We learn that by studying the Word and heeding the command of the Lord who bids us, like the disciples in the Garden, to “Watch and Pray” (Matthew 26:41). But we learn how to practice that attentiveness of the soul by experience. As a child will most assuredly learn what a hot stove is by touching it, so we learn by yielding to temptation and received the Lord’s forgiveness. Better, we learn by turning to Christ in the midst of temptation. What do we learn? We learn to recognize the subterfuges of the devil and “to take refuge in Christ, calling on Him…” (Philokalia, Fr. Basil)


“If we could always be aware of Christ at every decision we make or whenever we undertake any task, we would be able to be doers of God’s word and will in every moment of our lives. We have to train ourselves to be ever mindful of Christ’s presence…At every moment of our lives, in every decision we make, we are to think about God’s will and be aware of God’s grace present in our lives.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)


“…our path to transfiguration in holiness will occur one day at a time as we mindfully say “Yes!” to God in the midst of whatever challenges and temptations we face. Instead of worrying about the size or circumstance of our offering, we must simply make the offering that we presently can. That is all that Christ asks of us. Even as He accepted the few loaves and fish from the disciples, which seemed terribly inadequate before thousands of hungry people, He will accept and bless our offering, provided that it is the fruit of our obedience. He asks nothing more from us than that. We do not need to have mystical visions or do anything that impresses ourselves or anyone else. We need only to offer the small details of our lives to Him every day for blessing, healing, and fulfillment. If we do that, then by His grace, we too will know personally the joy of His Transfiguration.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)


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