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  • 3 years ago
Learning the Prayer of the Heart

Learning the Prayer of the Heart

In 1851, an anonymous monk on Mount Athos wrote a book on prayer. The title of the book has been translated as The Watchful Mind: Teachings on the Prayer of the Heart. It is a book that I cannot recommend for most people because, like much classic Orthodox spiritual writing (the Philokalia, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, The Ascetical Homilies of St. Isaac the Syrian, to name a few), it was written for people pursuing the spiritual life, a life in communion with God, in a very specific monastic setting, a setting that exists in very few places in the world today, or some might say—indeed have said—in a setting that does not exist at all in the world any more. And yet, these texts are nonetheless compelling for us because they bear witness to a relationship with God, an intensity of relationship with God, that many people in the world today long for.