Γέροντα Ιωσήφ

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St Gregory – On Prayer

“If someone only wants to pray when he attends God’s Church, and has no concern at all for prayer at home, in the streets or in the fields, then even when he is present in church he is not really praying.” (St. Gregory Palamas, Homilies, p. 51)

Taken from @frted:

https://frted.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/praying-paying-attention/

Starting

Starting is always hard. Whether it is a new habit or developing a new skill (which effectively also requires starting a new habit). When learning something new the initial learning curve is the hardest. Everything is so foreign and new. It makes it difficult to feel progress because there is a lot of “start-stop” trying to understand new terms and concepts. 

The good news is that it only gets easier if you keep at it, and inceasingly faster. Most people stop at the beginning because it’s just too much. If you’re able to break through the initial stages, you leave the masses behind quite rapidly. And you will be glad you did 2 years from now. 

How many times have you found yourself going back to something you started some time ago and didn’t follow through? Only to find yourself restarting a few years later. That’s inefficient because you have to go through a lot of that initial learning curve over again – and the initial part is the hardest. 

If it’s worth doing, or something you just want to do for some reason, then push through and get over the hump. It becomes much smoother and more enjoyable as you progress. Don’t stop, keep going. Consistency is key. 

Too much

A big challenge today when learning is that we have unprecedented amounts of information at our fingertips. This is great because we can quickly clarify things and improve our understanding of new concepts or ideas we come across along the learning journey. However, we can often be hindered by this same thing if we are not deliberate in how we use this resource. 

We can find ourselves quickly going down a rabbit hole if we’re not careful and end up wasting time going off topic. We can also find ourselves in uncovering a mountain of information and concepts that we still need to learn or think we need to learn. This can be overwhelming or discouraging. It is very important to keep focus on what you’re doing and just keep pushing through. Baby steps. Trust in the process. And then before you know it, you will be much further than you expected. 

The internet is a great tool and resource. But it is also a beast that we need to learn to control and work for us. 

On Praying for Others

“Why has our sincere prayer for each other such great power over others? Because of the fact that by cleaving to God during prayer I become one spirit with Him, and unite with myself, by faith and love, those for whom I pray, for the Holy Spirit acting in me also acts at the same time in them, for He accomplishes all things.”

– St John of Kronstadt

Contribute

We need to take in less and give more. It’s far too easy to consume today. Whether it’s products, information or entertainment. But the more time we spend consuming, the less time we have to contribute. And contribution is where the real magic happens. It’s how we get better at our craft, it’s how we develop ourselves and become better and it is how we make a (hopefully positive) impact on the world and our loved ones. We need to consume sometimes to enable us to contribute better, but it needs to be intentional rather than mindless.