Friday, October 27, 2017

Saint Paisius Velichkovsky: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me!"


"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me!" 

If one with desire and ceaselessly as the breath from his nostrils forms this prayer, soon there will be in him the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and make a dwelling in him, and prayer will devour the heart and the heart prayer, and a man will begin day and night to perform this prayer and will be  delivered from all the nets of the enemy. One should say the Prayer of Jesus in this way: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me!" 

Whether you are standing, whether you are sitting, whether you are eating, whether you are travelling, whether you are doing anything else, constantly say this prayer, fervently compelling yourself, for it strikes the invisible enemies as a soldier with a strong spear. Imprint it on your thoughts, and do not be disturbed or hesitate to perform it secretly even in the places of natural need. And when the tongue and lips grow faint, then pray with the mind alone. From prayer which is performed for a long time, by the tongue there proceeds prayer of the mind, and from that of the mind, that of the heart.  When the mind grows faint from constant concentration and the heart 
grows pained, then one may relax and sing a little.

One should perform the Prayer of Jesus aloud but not loudly, sufficient so that one can hear it. One should not at the time of prayer incline one's thought here and there to worldly, corruptible things, but should remain without laziness in the memory of this Prayer alone. The Prayer is nothing else but a division between the visible and invisible worlds. Wherefore, one must enclose one's mind in the Prayer. Where the body stands, there also the mind should be with it, without having any thought at the time of prayer. The Holy Fathers say, "If anyone prays with his lips but is careless about his mind, he is labouring in vain, for God heeds the mind and not much speaking.

Mental prayer does not allow that there be in the mind any fantasy or unclean thought. If one does not become accustomed to the mental Jesus Prayer, he cannot have ceaseless prayer. If the Jesus Prayer becomes one's habit and enters his heart, it will then flow as water from a spring. At all times, everywhere and no matter what one does, it will always urge him on, be he awake or asleep. When his body begins to sleep or drowse, even then it will awaken him, gushing out of his heart and never ceasing. 

Therefore this prayer is great, never left off, so that when it is being said, although the lips may grow faint, and the body may drowse, the spirit never sleeps. When some essential work is performed diligently or thoughts powerfully attack the mind or sleep overcomes one, then one must pray fervently with the lips and tongue, that the mind might heed the voice. And when the mind is in peace and calm from thoughts, one may pray with it alone. This path of prayer is the swifter one to salvation than by means of psalms, canons, and the usual prayers.

Saint Paisius Velichkovsky