March 29, 2021

Great Lent Is An Extraordinary Time To Learn To Truly Pray

By Monk Moses the Athonite

The main elements of Great Lent are prayer and fasting. Prayer presupposes faith. A person who does not pray is helpless, insecure, blind and alone.

They are attached to the earth, to matter, they do not know how to fly high, to sail in the heavens, to have necessary celestial assistance. They are magnetized, bound, clinging to the perishable earth. They do not detach easily. They try to treasure the earth. They are constantly looking for pleasures, to make them happy, but rather they give them pain. It is sad and worthy of lamentation to see them seeking joy in the mud. The ascent to heaven begins with repentance, sincere repentance, compunctionate remorse. It is worth feeling that you were not created for the dirt. Empathy does not really make you happy. Adherence to the hereafter is a serious mistake and has costs with bitter consequences. It is not impossible to climb higher than the peaks. It is possible for everyone. As long as they want it, they love it. At first we are hesitant, cowardly, scared, we do not want to risk it.

In fact, we consider prayer elusive, strange, unnatural, impossible, not for us. We think it is a game which is impermissible and resistant, that we are very sinful for such a thing. Prayer is not just for the saints. But if one prays modestly and humbly, one begins to sweeten one's heart, to be illumined, to be strengthened and to rest. They feel that praying is worth it. They feel gladness, rejoicing, security, empowerment and comfort. They understand that it is a great need of the soul, their physical movement, their inherent functioning. It becomes a good habit and not a formal act. A daily indulgence and gift. As the body needs daily food to be maintained, so does our immortal soul. One cannot love God and not connect with Him, not talk to Him and pray. They always think about Him and invoke Him. The memory of God is a prayer. When you remember your loved one you rejoice. Divine invocation is an occasion of great joy, peace and blessing.

Without prayer the soul remains breathless, weak, sick. Prayer gives spiritual health, balance, discernment, illumination, sanctification. Prayer shields against sin. The one who prays has a conversation with God and does not engage in vain things. They learn humility, meekness, simplicity and love. The one who prays is a beloved child of God. A great gift of God to man is prayer. This period of Great Lent is an extraordinary opportunity to learn to truly pray.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.