Saturday, 19 July 2014

The accessibility of the Jesus Prayer

One of the things that tended to discolour my earlier views of the Jesus Prayer was the misunderstanding that it was only for the Saint or the monastic. Even if taken up by a lay person it was only a certain type of very committed or spiritually gifted individual. How wrong I was (and am). Fortunately a brief correspondence with Frederica Mathewes-Green sorted me out, followed by - as often happens with God - confirmation from another source, namely The Way of the Pilgrim. Here is the extract and a short introduction by George Maloney, S.J. in his excellent book "Prayer of the heart":

"Here is a spirituality open to the most ordinary person who would discipline himself to enter into his "heart" and there experience the inner light of the indwelling Jesus. The Pilgrim tells his readers:

"And that can be done by anyone. It costs nothing but the effort to sink down in silence into the depths of one's heart and call more and more upon the radiant Name of Jesus. Everyone who does that feels at once the inward light, everything becomes understandable to him, he even catches sight in this light of some of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. And what depth and light there is in the mystery of a man coming to know he has this power to plumb the depths of his own being, to see himself from within, to find delight in self-knowledge, to take pity on himself and shed tears of gladness over his fall and his spoiled will."
"Prayer of the heart" page 32. 

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