Spiritual Counsels, Volume VI: On Prayer
By Saint Paisios the Athonite
Size: 6" x 9" (15.3 x 23 cm)
From Chapter One, Prayer is Conversation with God:
"Blessed are those who have tuned into the Heavenly Station
- Geronda, what does prayer mean to you?
- I send a signal; I ask for help. I continuously ask for help from Christ, from Panaghia, from the Saints, for myself and for others. If I do not ask for help, it will not be given to me.
I remember a time during the Greek Civil War when one thousand, six hundred guerrillas had closely surrounded us. All together, we were but one hundred and eighty soldiers barricaded behind an outcropping of rock. If we were to have been captured, they would have killed us. I kept trying to set up an antenna for the wireless in order to contact Central. I could not; the antenna was repeatedly cut down by the incessant gunfire. The captain shouted at me, " Leave that alone! Come here! Help us heave a crate or tow of grenades!" At the same time, he kept making the rounds of the machine-gun nests to inspect them. As soon as he left, I ran back to the wireless. Until he gave the orders, I kept trying to set up the antenna and also running back to help, so that he would not shout. I finally set up the antenna with a shove and a stick, and managed to make contact. I said but two words. That was it! In the morning, the air force came and saved us. Is it a small matter that one hundred and eighty men surrounded by one thousand, six hundred soldiers were, in the end, saved?
That incident made me realize that great mission of the monastic: to help through his prayer. Worldly people say, "What do monks do? Why don't they come into the world and help the community?" It is as if they were telling a wireless operator, "What are you doing there with the wireless? Drop the wireless.."
From the Contents:
- Part One: Communication with God
- Part Two: The Struggle for Prayer
- Part Three: Our Intercessors Before God
- Part Four: "Ask and it Shall be Given You"
- Part Five: The Jesus Prayer and Nepsis
- Part Six: The Life of Worship
- Part Seven: The State of Doxology