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sexta-feira, 11 de janeiro de 2019

Prayer of Jesus or Prayer of the Heart

Prayer of Jesusor Prayer of the Heart

by Archimandrite Fr. Jonah Mourtos

To speak about the prayer of Jesus, for me, is very difficult. I will try to do it because of your kindness to invite me here. But I must say that I am not the right person for it, because of my sins. And because I don't have this prayer in my heart. I have forgotten it. Even this - to practice the prayer of the heart - was the deepest reason for me to become a monk. But now… all is forgotten, my life is not pure anymore…
But thank you again because you give me the opportunity to remember people that had this kind of prayer in their heart. They used to say, to recite the prayer of the heart in their hearts, in their minds without stop. One of them was my spiritual father. But I met also another two persons, fr. Efrem and fr. Paisios in Mount Athos. So some of what I am going to say is my memories from them, and I thank you again for giving me this opportunity, because I know, they are in heavens now, and they see us and they are very happy that we are together today, and they pray for us.

What it is the "prayer of the heart"

The prayer of the heart is the deepest prayer of the Orthodox Church. From now on when I say Orthodox Church, I mean the one Catholic and Apostolic Church, the first Church. It starts as a repetition of the name of Jesus. The prayer doesn't have one formal, standard type. It may be 'Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me' or 'Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner' or 'Lord Jesus Christ' or simply 'Jesus'. It is up to everybody's character to choose what he or she likes more. The result is the same, the prayer is the same.
Most of people prefer the 'Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me'. The form is not so important, the meaning is very important.