Tag Archives: spiritual

The Jesus Prayer 26 – Thoughts

This series of reflections is on The Jesus Prayer: The Ancient Desert Prayer that Tunes the Heart to God by Frederica Mathewes-Green. I’ll conclude my series of reflections on Khouria Frederica’s book with this reflection on the path thoughts take to pull us away from prayer. The fathers identify stages such thoughts take. 1. Provocation. […]

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Four Hundred Texts on Love (Fourth Century) 37

76. When a man sticks to the mere letter of Scripture, his nature is governed by the senses alone, in this way proving his soul’s attachment to the flesh. For if the letter is not understood in a spiritual way, its significance is restricted to the level of the senses, which do not allow its […]

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The Jesus Prayer 24 – Spiritual Pride

This series of reflections is on The Jesus Prayer: The Ancient Desert Prayer that Tunes the Heart to God by Frederica Mathewes-Green. Khouria Frederica answers a number of questions in her book that explore the differences between the practice of the Jesus Prayer and some of the practices and goals of Eastern religions like Hinduism […]

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Four Hundred Texts on Love (Fourth Century) 34

72.  If always understood in the same way, none of the persons, places, times, or any of the other things mentioned in Scripture, whether animate or inanimate, sensible or intelligible, will yield either the literal or spiritual sense intended. Thus he who wishes to study the divine knowledge of Scripture without floundering must respect the […]

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The Jesus Prayer 20 – Placing the Nous in the Heart

This series of reflections is on The Jesus Prayer: The Ancient Desert Prayer that Tunes the Heart to God by Frederica Mathewes-Green. Though we don’t often think of it in those terms, it’s not really that hard for us to grasp the idea of our normally buzzing awareness becoming focused in different parts of our […]

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The Jesus Prayer 18 – Repentance

This series of reflections is on The Jesus Prayer: The Ancient Desert Prayer that Tunes the Heart to God by Frederica Mathewes-Green. What’s the point of repentance? It’s important to understand the Christian (and older Hebrew) idea underlying it as a change in direction or a turning rather than a sense of sorrow. (I know […]

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The Jesus Prayer 17 – Fear

This series of reflections is on The Jesus Prayer: The Ancient Desert Prayer that Tunes the Heart to God by Frederica Mathewes-Green. In addition to awe, Khouria Frederica discusses an interesting question. But haven’t we progressed beyond fear of God? It sounds so negative. It’s an interesting question. Fear of God leads to  sense of […]

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The Jesus Prayer 16 – Awe

This series of reflections is on The Jesus Prayer: The Ancient Desert Prayer that Tunes the Heart to God by Frederica Mathewes-Green. Khouria Frederica reflects on the tendency today to approach Jesus in prayer casually. There was a misguided attempt in the last century to make God more approachable, maybe even more human (as if […]

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Four Hundred Texts on Love (Fourth Century) 29

62.  If a person’s will is not directed towards what is good, it is inevitably directed towards evil; for it cannot be stationary with regard to both. Because it implies obduracy with regard to virtue Scripture describes the soul’s sluggishness in pursuing what is good as ‘stones’; while it describes as ‘timber’ the soul’s readiness […]

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The Jesus Prayer 9 – A Darkened Nous

This series of reflections is on The Jesus Prayer: The Ancient Desert Prayer that Tunes the Heart to God by Frederica Mathewes-Green. While the nous is our “little radio,” our faculty for hearing and encountering God, it doesn’t much want to listen to God. Our nous is often described as damaged or darkened.  Our nous […]

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