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Quotes of the Day for December 3, 2020 – Thoughts on some guidance on prayer

“Regarding the matter of how much to pray, Fr. Thomas Hopko had a wise saying. He said to pray as much as you can, not as much as you should. That is, we will always feel that we “should” pray or read or attend services more. Don’t focus on an ideal that you should do, rather focus on what you can do, with a little effort, but not too much effort. Keep in mind that it is much, much better to have an easy rule that you can keep just about every day and that you sometimes add to (on good days), than it is to have a rule that you can only keep on very good days, but can’t (or don’t) do most days. “Can’t” and “Don’t” mean the same thing.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)

“We should always be wary of applying linear notions of progress to our prayer life and asking ourselves: “What stage am I in?” “How far have I progressed?” Whatever “progress” in prayer is supposed to mean, it certainly doesn’t work like that…How should I pray? When should I pray? How extensive should my prayer be? Questions such as these reveal an absence of fervent and continuous prayer. For the one who loves prayer intensely there are no bounds. He will simply pray at every opportunity. Today's prayer is a continuation of yesterday's. And today's prayer will be continued tomorrow.” (Martin Laird, Monk Moses)

“Just as we cannot expect to be in good health by eating a nutritious meal once a week or to be physically fit by walking around the block once a month, so it is with contemplative practice. Like physical health and fitness the fruits of contemplative practice are seen in regular practice…Prayer, after all, is the breath of the soul. The body cannot survive for more than a few minutes without breathing. Likewise, the neglect of prayer deadens the soul.” (Martin Laird, Fr. Basil)

“There is an old saying that nothing teaches prayer like prayer: the more we pray the deeper we are led into prayer…Prayer generates prayer…union with Christ is the aim of the prayer.” (Father Spyridon Baily, Archimandrite Sergius, OCPM 1/6/2016)

“God delays so that we stop treating Him like a butler at our beck and call. Our greatest need is to reframe our notion of prayer! The Lord desires that we learn prayer as a labor, an arduous journey into the mystery of His Person, and a discovery of our sinfulness and need. Prayer heals our relationship with God and becomes unending growth. Christ encourages us to discover how to pray, to do God’s will, and to persevere, for He is infinitely good and cares deeply for us (Luke 9:13).” (Dynamis 10/28/2020)

#FrMichaelGillis #MartinLaird #MonkMoses #FrBasil #FatherSpyridonBaily #ArchimandriteSergius #OCPM #Dynamis

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