john_kronstadtWith the mental eyes of my heart, I see how I mentally breathe Christ in my heart, how He enters into it, and suddenly tranquillises and rejoices it.

Oh, do not leave me to dwell alone, without Thyself, the life-giver, my breath, my joy! It is hard for me to be left without Thee.

Is it possible to pray rapidly without injuring the effect of the prayer? It is possible to those who have learned to pray inwardly with a pure heart.

During prayer it is necessary that your heart should sincerely desire that which you ask for, should feel the truth of what you are saying, and this comes naturally to a pure heart.

That is why it is capable of praying even rapidly, and at the same time agreeably, to God, as the rapidity in this case does not injure the truth (sincerity) of the prayer.

But for those who have not attained the capability of praying sincerely it is necessary to pray slowly, waiting for a corresponding echo in the heart to each word of the prayer.

And this is not always soon given to men unaccustomed to prayerful contemplation.

Therefore, for such men, it must be laid down as an absolute rule to pronounce the words of the prayer slowly, and with pauses.

Wait until every word gives back its corresponding echo in your heart.

John of Kronstadt (1829-1908; Russian Orthodox): My Life in Christ

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