December 3, 2012

The Prayer Rope: My Mobile Phone

By Protopresbyter Dionysios Tatsis

In our times only babies do not have mobile phones. Everyone else has their mobile phone and they constantly speak and communicate with each other. Wherever they are, they make a phone call. Everywhere you hear diverse music, which is an option for those who have the phones. Even in the sacred churches telephones ring.

I would say that even anchorites have mobile phones, despite the fact they have chosen the non-worldly life and have renounced family and friends. Few are those who consciously renounce their mobile phone and limit it to a fixed place in their home. They consider it bothersome that at anytime and anywhere they could be sought out and be communicants of the problems of others, interrupting their spiritual pursuits, which involves contemplation, devotion and the laying aside of life's cares. Many of my brethren will consider paradoxical the things I am pointing out here. But I persist, because I believe that the things said on the mobile are unnecessary, if not harmful. There are few cases where they have some value and make life easier for people, but for these cases we have the fixed telephone of the home, the office, the plaza, etc.

The continuous telephone communication interferes with the mind in a thousand and one ways, which makes prayer and the spiritual life in general difficult. How can you work according to God, when for a "high pick-me-up" you make and accept calls?

When others distress you with useless questions and ask your opinion about ridiculous subjects, its as if people lost their logic or have gone back to their childhood. In reference to the mobile phone, you should not forget that Christians primarily desire communication with God and secondarily with people.

With the telephone we converse with people. But how can we converse with God? A monk once told me that he also has a mobile phone with many features, and then he showed me his much used prayer rope. "With this", he assured me, "I converse with the Lord at all times! On the mobile phone there are keys, but I use the knots to ask for the Lord's mercy; this phone must be used continuously, especially in our age where temptations are many and many people have moved away from God, as we are absorbed with life's concerns."

Blessed are those who have not been captured by contemporary technology and can freely communicate with God with undistracted prayer, which does not require equipment, antennas, headsets, cables, etc.

Source: "Orthodoxos Typos", November 30, 2012. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.