August 25, 2012

Married Life and Praying Like Ascetics

By Elder Sophrony of Essex

There are some people who wish to incorporate married life with the sweetness of prayer, praying like the ascetics. But this effort cannot be accomplished. This is why married people become worried and distraught. The Prayer of the Heart requires purity of heart and body. We must discreetly guide and inform married couples that it is better to stop the Prayer of the Heart rather than to stop communicating with one another for the sake of the marriage. If the marriage fails then the husband will seek out another woman and most likely the wife will seek out another man, and if this happens, then all prayer is lost. When the family disintegrates then prayer is lost. Discreet coordination is required between the married and spiritual state guided by an experienced Spiritual Father.