iconandlight

Iconography and Hand painted icons

Prayer becomes a wordless cry….Elder Sophrony Sakharov

Elder Sophrony

Μαρία Αιγυπτία_Saint Mary of Egypt Icon _святая Мария Египтяныня_μονη αγ.Γρηγοριου Σιναιτου-Żywot4947203578_8c2cd6fd65_oOn the Day of Judgement all the good that we have done during our lives will stand at our side, to our glory. And vice versa: the bad, if unrepented, will condemn and cast us into outer darkness. Repentance can obliterate the effects of sin. By Divine power life may be restored in all its plenitude- not, however, by unilateral intervention on God’s part but always and only in accord with us. God does nothing with man without man’s co-operation.God’s participation in our individual life we call Providence. This Providence is not like heathen Fate: at certain crucial moments we do, indeed, decide for ourselves on one or other course. When we are faced with various possibilities our choice should be conditioned by the final aim that we have in view: the Kingdom of the Father. But too often we are influenced by other, more temporary considerations, and we turn aside from the true path offered to us by God, on to false tracks which will not lead to the hoped-for dawn. In any case, whatever we choose, suffering is inevitable. But when we opt for the way of God our sacrifice likens us to Christ. ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done’ (Luke 22.42)…

The soul of the man of prayer is often even more dreadfully racked. The dismay that invades him when he sees himself in the grip of base passions drives him ever deeper into the core of his being. This concentration within may take the form of a cramp whereby heart, mind and body are contracted together, like a tightly clenched fist. Prayer becomes a wordless cry, and regret for the distance separating him from God turns to acute grief. To behold oneself in the black pit of sin, cut off from the Holy of holies is distressing indeed.Prayer often proceeds without words. If there are words they come slowly, with long pauses between. Our human word is the image of the Word that was ‘in the beginning’. When words reflect intellectual knowledge they undoubtedly have metaphysical roots, especially where knowledge of God is involved.

 Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov

Comments are closed.