This is how you will say it too: Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!

Archimandrite Paul Danas

One day I asked elder Porphyrios to tell me how to pray and if it were possible to reveal to me his own way of praying. And the answer was prompt and left me speechless:

But what do you think prayer means? Food offered on order or medication given on prescription? I told you to ask just for the salvation of your soul, meaning to request to become inheritor of the eternal heavenly Kingdom. And to leave all the others to God’s judgement. I remind you once again the verse: ”Seek first the Kingdom of God…”Isn’t this enough for you? If it’s not enough or it doesn’t satisfy you completely, then limit yourself to the mental prayer. For me ”Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me” says everything. And for sure much more than what you say. It is enough to say it faithfully and  devotedly. And imagine especially in those moments that you have Jesus, the Crucified one, in front of you.

And listen to me: While you say it (the prayer) turn your mind towards me and I will seize your thought and will pray with you for you. This is the best way. And this is what I recommend you to do.

”Yes, gheronda, but you don’t say it (the prayer) right.”

”I say it right, but you misunderstand it.” ”And you know why?” ”Because you separate yourself from the rest of the world.” ”And that’s not right at all.”

We should love our brother exactly as we love ourselves. I love everybody as if they were me and for this reason I don’t see  why I should say: ”Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us!” instead of ”have mercy on me.” And that because I and the world, we are one. This is how you should say it too: ”Have mercy on me.”

Source:  Theology and the miracles of the mental prayer, Athos publishing house

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