Let`s not cut the rope

`Geronda, after you stay all day long to talk with so many people in the evening you are exhausted but in the morning on your face there is no trace of exhaustion, you are radiant. How can it be explained?`

`I don`t cut the rope.`[1].

`Geronda, sometimes when because of my chores I don`t go to the Compline and I am very tired I tell myself: `Let`s lie down a little and I will say the Jesus prayer but in the end I fall asleep and I don`t do anything.`

`Not like this, my blessed. Even when you are very tired do not lie down in bed before praying. Say `Holy God` and psalm 50, kiss the icon of Christ and of the Theotokos, make the sign of the cross on your pillow and then go to sleep. Fix the clock to ring one hour before the holy service starts, to wake up and make your canon.

Compulsion is needed, but you should feel it as a necessity, to try with all your heart. God loves the cheerful giver`[2].

`And when I don`t have any zeal ?`

`You must force yourself to do something spiritual. Take care to study and pray daily. Study, prayer, the chanting of psalms are vitamins which the souls needs daily.

`We should not leave the day without prayer. I remember that during war when more days passed without any attack from us, we shot our guns in the air for a several times. If we didn`t do like this the enemies would have said `those are sleeping` and they would have attacked us by surprise. We should do the same in our spiritual endeavours.

If we feel exhausted and we can`t fulfill all our spiritual duties, let us not cut the rope, namely the communication with God, we should at least make a few prostrations, several prayers.

Meaning to shoot two times so that we won`t be captured by the devil. After we recover, we should start again our ascetic endeavours according to the rule.

When someone leaves his spiritual duties, if he doesn`t make a few prostrations and a series of prayers with the rosary, he becomes wild. He can do works, but he can`t pray. I see monks who do all kinds of works without cease and they leave the study and prayer.

`Let`s do this let`s do the other one and they give up on prayer and in the end they become wild they become like the laymen. I saw servants who could stay outin the sun all day long from morning till night and carve and cut wood but if you had given them threefold payment they could not have stayed in the church for half an hour, they went out and smoked. I noticed this fact.

When the man doesn`t pray, he estranges himself of God and becomes like the ox: he works, eats and sleeps. The more he estranges of God, the more difficult the things become. His heart becomes cold and afterwards he can`t pray anymore. In order to recover his heart needs to soften, he must begin repentance and be shaken.

[1] the elder refers at the communication with God in prayer.

[2] II Corinthians 9, 7.

Excerpt from About Prayer – Pious Paisios the Athonite, Evanghelismos Publishing.

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