The holy icons help at prayer

`Geronda, how will I be able to find comfort when I am upset ?

`Find your escape in prayer. Only by touching an icon with your head you find comfort. Make your cell as a small church with icons which give youj peace and you will see that you will find in it much comfort.`

`Geronda, sometimes during prayer I kiss the icons, is it good?`

`Yes, it is good. According to the rules, the icons must be kissed this way: our heart should be over flooded by love for Christ, for the Holy Mother of God and for the Saint and we should fall on our knees to show our veneration of the icons.

One year [1] on March 26th when we celebrate the assembly of Saint Archangel Gabriel I was praying before the Icons of Christ and of the Holy Mother of God. For a moment I saw Christ and the Holy Mother of God moving as if they had been alive.

`My Christ bless me. My Holy Mother of God, bless me!`

In the moment I knelt down to show my veneration a strong fragrance filled my cell. It was an absolutely wonderful fragrance! The small rug I had on the floor although it was covered by dust spread perfume. I stayed on my knees and kissed the rug. What a fragrance!

`Geronda, when I pray, does it help me to remember Christ`s face?`

`Listen, when you pray before an icon, then the icons helps you as you turn your mind from the icon to the person painted on it [2] But when you pray in your mind and you are bent and with the eyes shut you must not bring faces into your mind by means of imagination, because the devil can use this and present you visions to delude and harm you.

The prayer must be made with pure mind, without thoughts and representations even if these are of Christ or representations from the Holy Scripture, because it is dangerous, especially for those who have a rich imagination and a great pride. Only when dirty and blasphemous thoughts come we can bring into our mind representations from the Holy Scripture. But the best representation is the awareness of our sinfulness and ingratitude.

[1] in the year 1984.

[2]  See Saint Basil the Great, the Bishop of Caesarea of Cappadocia About the Holy Spirit, chapter18, PG 32 149C. The veneration of the icon goes to prototype The reference of the 7th Ecumenical Synod at this text gives it a special significance to the relation between the icon and the prototype.

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

Previous Post

The soul of a priest

Next Post

Come and I will show you people`s affairs

Related Posts