My beloved spiritual children in Our Risen Lord Jesus Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN!
"BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY" [1 Peter 1:16]
By Geronda [Elder] Dionisie of Colciu, from "Familia Orthodoxa," May 2017.
Sure, the Church has all sorts of prayers for the fulfillment of all of one's needs. But in each one of us, as persons, in our souls and our thoughts can be installed a prayer that is small enough, yet very powerful: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner", the propensity to sin is chased out from your thoughts and ideas, and Christ dwells in your heart.
The goodness of God helps us as many times as we run to Him and cry out, "Lord, I pray to You, help me!" At that second, the grace of the Holy Spirit comes and helps you. But we should request, as the Holy Fathers tell us, with humble-mindedness. We should consider ourselves to be sinners before God, that we are not worthy of help: "Lord, You Who descended from the Holy Trinity and took on a human body in order to deliver us from evil, I pray to You, help me!" When we do so with humble-mindedness, it is rendered impossible for God to not help you, nor under any pretext whatsoever.
But we are indifferent: "Eh, Lord, help me...Eh, if You want, You can help me, but if not, it doesn't matter." No! We should consider ourselves to be as we really are, unworthy. You see what the Lord says: "Be holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16). But look, we constantly make mistakes, that is why we can never expect that we are worthy for Him to help us. Not so, as we continuously trample upon the will of God, willingly and unwillingly. It is such that, if we request with meekness and with humble-mindedness the help of God, at that second the grace of the Holy Spirit helps us. Oh! May God help us.
You Need To Show Spiritual Manliness
From childhood, our minds turn toward the bad, the unclean, but more so they are led toward the bad by the Tempter (Evil One). Because this is his weapon, in order to ruin our minds. But we need to show spiritual manliness. As much as we can, we should fight, we should not receive unclean thoughts (logismoi). Do you see? "From my youth passions have warred against me," as the Antiphon says. Many passions. "But You Yourself help me"--we pray to God to help us, and with the help of God we will all be victors. For God help us, since the Savior tells us thus: "For apart from me you can do nothing" (St. John 15:5).
That is why we must always, for whatever we request, we must request it with humility. God accounts the humble-minded person closer to Him, and He prizes humility more than any other virtue or good deed which you may have. If you request from God, whatever you request of Him with humility, it is not possible for God to not listen to you. He listens to you, He fulfills your wish, but you need to request it with humility.
Whatever happens, realize first that it is from God, because that's how it is, this is the truth. Since God wants it, we are at this moment here and we are speaking to each other, and we were at the church...but if God does not want it...That is why "Without Me." without God we cannot do anything.
However, we ought to know this thing, because if we know it, from now on, with humble-mindedness whatever we request from God, we will receive. What does the Lord say? Whatever your request from God, request it, but you must believe, you should be convinced that God will fulfill your wish. But if you say, "Give, O Lord, such-and-such," and you see that He did not give it to you, you begin to grumble: "Eh, God does not listen to me..." No! Hold on tight and constantly consider yourself unworthy.
Many times, God delays in fulfilling your wish because it is not beneficial for you; there is no other reason for non-fulfillment of your wish other than that it is not beneficial. Yet at other times God wants to try you more. It is thus with God. You need to show spiritual manliness then. It's not that the Tempter now comes and puts his bell to your ears, with all kinds of his misfortunes, and we should listen to him. No! Go forth with God, only with god and never the tempter.
"He who endures to the end will be saved" (St. Matthew 10:22). You need patience. Humble-mindedness. Well yes, if we would have these three spiritual gifts--obedience, cutting off or personal will and ego, and humble-mindedness--we would count everything as good. Even if you were to be beaten all day long, or to have your heart poisoned by some words if we had all three of these gifts, which the Holy Fathers counsel, we would consider everything to be good. However, if we do not have them...we then focus and chase exclusively our own desires. "Well, my will is good! Look at what He did, He made a mistake! He didn't go the right way."
Thus, if you decide to be obedient to whatever they would tell you, to cut off your will, and to never do what you want, then you are covered by the grace of the Holy Spirit, instantly. Yes. And afterward, you should be humble-minded. Humble-mindedness, that is to say, you should always consider yourself to be inferior to everyone else.
"Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!"
As much as you can, you should always pray. If you cannot read, you should constantly say in your soul and in your mind and in your heart: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." It is a very small prayer, but it has the greatest strength so that the Great Saints gave up all their philosophical books and drew near to this prayer which is small, yet mighty in power.
For the one which has this prayer, even if he stops to speak with someone, the prayer works in his mind the entire time. This is a fearful thing, a divine work. He goes, does, mends, without letting the prayer stop...That is why the Holy Books say that in normal times there were men who lived in royal palaces and nevertheless possessed the noetic prayer. Irrespective of the turmoil that was likely there and the countless distractions and temptations, these men attained and maintained their godliness.
And this is exactly how you should speak and live the rest of your lives. Since your obligation is to always "pray unceasingly," you should continuously maintain the Jesus prayer! You must do so without pondering whether you will eventually acquire the noetic prayer or not. And when the thought comes to you to slander someone, repeat, "Lord Jesus Christ...;when some defiled thought comes, say Lord Jesus Christ...The mouth and mind should always be accustomed to saying, Lord Jesus Christ...., and slowly, without realizing it, God shall descend His grace upon you. (Source: Orthodox Heritage)
"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!" -- Saint John Chrysostom
With sincere agape in His Divine Resurrection,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God