Resisting True Prayer
"True Prayer to the true God is contact with the Divine Spirit which prays in us. The Spirit gives us to know God. The Spirit draws our spirit to contemplation of eternity. Like grace coming down from on High the act of prayer is too much for our earthly nature and so our mortal body, incapable of rising into the spiritual sphere, resists. The intellect resists because it is incapable of containing infinity, is shaken by doubts and rejects everything that exceeds its understanding. The social environment in which I live is antagonistic to prayer -- it has organised life with other aims diametrically opposed to prayer. Hostile spirits cannot endure prayer. But prayer alone can restore the created world from its fall, overcoming its stagnation and inertia, by means of a mighty effort of our spirit to follow Christ's commandments" (St. Sophrony, On Prayer, p. 12).
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