An Irish Welcome

Céad Míle Fáilte friend and rover ...
Wherever you come from and whosoever you may be.
That's an Irish greeting and it means

you are welcome
a thousand times over.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

At the limits of your Endurance ...

If you feel that a matter on a particular problem, or temptation, or trial has reached an impasse and that you are at the limits of your endurance, remember:


 "Much Prayer"

St. John Climacus, 'The Ladder of Divine Ascent' (Step 5):
"Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly, the angel who guards you will honour your patience."
God will either lift your cross, or give you strength to carry it unto the end. The impasse of men is par excellence the field of God's action. It is the opportunity of God. 

Elder Joseph the Hesychast, 'Monastic Wisdom' (Letter #40):

"Christ allows temptations so that we may be purified of our predispositions."

Yes, it is not easy to pray when we are in a state where the temptation has reached an impasse.

Staretz Macarius of Optina, 'Russian Letters of Direction':
"Pray simply. Do not expect to find in your heart any remarkable gift of prayer. Consider yourself unworthy of it. Then you will find peace."
"Pray also to be able to pray"

Don't ever neglect prayer. This is a matter of self-sacrifice and mainly of love. At the end of every petion you make, you should say:
"Not as I will, but as You will" (Matt 26:39)
There is only ever one petition we make where this need not be added, that is, the petition for our salvation. In this petition, God 
"wishes that all people be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth." (1 Tim 2:4).
And finally, look upward and not always downward, on earthly things. Look at your soul for a bit, too. When you say your prayer, turn your intellect's attention to each word you say.

Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov, 'On the Prayer of Jesus'" says:
"God is the teacher of prayer; true prayer is the gift of God. To him who prays constantly and with contrition of spirit, with the fear of God and with attention, God Himself gives gradual progress in prayer. From humble and attentive prayer, spiritual action and spiritual warmth make their appearance and quicken the heart. The quickened heart draws the mind to itself and becomes a temple of grace-given prayer and a treasury of the spiritual gifts which are procured by such prayer as a matter of course."

Hattip:Fr John Whiteford: "Prayer quotations from the Ladder of Divine Ascent"

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