SophronyOften one can remark a disposition [in some people] to draw a parallel between prayer in the Name of Jesus and yoga or “transcendental meditation” and the like.

[…] All contemplation arrived at by [these other] means is self-contemplation, not contemplation of God.

In these circumstances we open up for ourselves created beauty, not First Being. And in all of it there is no salvation for man.

The source of real deliverance lies in unquestionable, wholehearted acceptance of the Revelation, “I am that I am…I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last”. God is Personal Absolute, Trinity One and Indivisible.

Our whole Christian life is based on this Revelation. This God called us from nonbeing into life.

Knowledge of this Living God and discernment of the manner of His creation releases us from the obscurity of our own ideas, coming  from beneath, about the Absolute; rescues us from our attraction unconscious but for all that ruinous to withdrawal from existence of any sort.

We are created in order to be communicants in the Divine Being of Him Who really is. Christ indicated this wondrous way: “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life”.

Apprehending the depths of the Creator’s wisdom, we embark on the suffering through which Divine eternity is to be attained.

And when His Light shines for us we unite in ourselves contemplation of the two extremes of the abyss on the one side, the darkness of hell, on the other, the triumph of victory. We are existentially introduced into the province of Uncreated Divine Life.

And hell loses power over us. We are given grace to live the state of the Incarnate Logos Christ Who descended into hell as Conqueror.

Then by the power of His love we shall embrace all creation in the prayer: “O Jesus, Gracious Almighty, have mercy upon us and Thy world”.

Revelation of this Personal God imparts a wondrous character to all things. Being is not some determined cosmic process but the Light of the indescribable love between Divine and created persons.

It is the free movement of spirits filled with wise knowledge of all that exists, and consciousness of self.

Without this there is no sense in anything but only death. But our prayer becomes a living contact of our created persona and the Divine Person that is, something absolute.

And this is expressed when we address the Word of the Father: “O Lord Jesus Christ, Unoriginate Word of Thine Unoriginate Father, have mercy upon us. Save us and Thy world”

Elder Sophrony (1896-1993; Orthodox): On Prayer p.168-170 (taken from a more extended version at Orthodox.net).


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