Geronda, why do I have heedlessness?
`Heedlessness? Because you are lacking heed. It is obvious that you didn`t begin to enjoy the spiritual matters.
`Geronda, after a period of heedlessness, this would help me begin gradually the ascetic endeavours? Meaning that one day I would pray with the rosary once the next day twice and so on?
`In order to make a good start you must have a disposition to do this and to exert yourself a little. Even if somebody were completely exhausted, if he would exert himself a little the exhaustion will go away and he will feel better. This small effort he makes has a great importance, because God expects only our disposition to intervene.
This is what will save us, the divine intervention.
`Geronda, even when I have time, I don`t have any disposition for the spiritual endeavours.`
`It may happen that sometimes we lack this disposition, but it is necessary a little bit of compulsion. When someone is indisposed, he usually doesn`t have a good appetite, but he make an effort and eats. No matter if he has appetite or not, he eats something light at the beginning, because his stomach doesn`t allow anything else ad little by little his appetite gets back. How to recover if he doesn`t eat? You too must not let yourself be possessed by idlessness because you will destroy yourself. Begin with some light spiritual nourishment to recover gradually. Try little by little to make a good start.
`It is true, geronda, that it is difficult for me to begin my spiritual duties.
`Yes, because your oils are frozen. Make some prostrations, study a little bit and pray with the Jesus prayer, so that your heart may warm up. Say: I will make only five prostrations. If your engine starts up, then you won`t be able to stop anymore, so you will need to brake.
Excerpt from About prayer – Pious Paisios the Athonite, Evanghelismos Publishing.