This is the right time to make the Jesus Prayer a regular part of your life. Elder Sophrony offers wise counsel, though I cannot agree with everything. For one thing, I find the longer version of the prayer too cumbersome. I prefer “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon me” or “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy” … and one can even go shorter.
By Elder Sophrony of Essex
I propose to devote this chapter to setting out as briefly as possible the more important aspects of the Jesus Prayer and the commonsense views regarding this great culture of the heart that I met with on the Holy Mountain. Year after year monks repeat the prayer with their lips, without trying by any artificial means to join mind and heart. Their attention is concentrated on harmonizing their life with the commandments of Christ. According to ancient tradition mind unites with heart through Divine action when the monk continues in the ascetic feat of obedience and abstinence; when the mind, the heart and the very body of the ‘old man’ to a sufficient degree are freed from the dominion over them of sin; when the body becomes worthy to be ‘the temple of the Holy Ghost’ (cf. Rom. 6. 11-14). However, both early and present-day teachers…
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