Transcripts

The Law of the Spirit

The Law of the Spirit

The Importance of having a Spiritual Father when Praying the Jesus Prayer

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The question is a good question, a very practical one: How do you know when you ought to speak to your spiritual father about something that you’re encountering in prayer? Well, if it’s something disturbing and it doesn’t go away, something that you really wouldn’t anticipate would come up when you are praying, if prayer engenders feelings that you really don’t like, it’s time to talk to your spiritual father to find out…

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The Law of the Spirit

The Jesus Prayer

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Fr. Maxym Lysack explains what differentiates the Jesus Prayer from other prayers.

The question is: What differentiates the Jesus prayer from other expressions of prayer, and what is it that makes it particularly effective or powerful? Well, the first thing I want to say is that it is not the only short prayer that Christians prayed historically. We have records of very short prayers that were prayed by Christians in the early centuries. Not all of them are early forms of the Jesus prayer: Lord, help me; God, help me; God, save me. These short prayers…

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The Law of the Spirit

Prayer of the Heart and Words

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The people who are praying the Jesus prayer regularly and are at the point where the Jesus prayer becomes part of the rhythm of the heart, are they thinking about the words? Yes, still, because they started the prayer thinking about the words. It’s like being in love: You don’t have to repeat the words to mean them. The people who are in love with each other, are they still thinking in the broadest sense about the words when they are not saying them? I…

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The Law of the Spirit

Unceasing Prayer

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The price to be paid for unceasing prayer.

Is there a specific way to aim at unceasing prayer? Ought we to aim consciously for that, make it our goal, or ought we to just pray? Probably better for when you’re beginning to just pray and not to be too preoccupied with the objectives of prayer. The objective of the Jesus prayer is the Lord Jesus himself; it’s the Person of the Lord. If we are in communion with him, we’re home. You can’t produce a better objective than that; it doesn’t…

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The Law of the Spirit

Re-establishing a Simple Prayer Rule

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Part two of a two-part series on prayer.

So this evening I would like to address the topic of re-establishing a simple prayer rule. I had spoken earlier about establishing a simple prayer rule. That was some time ago, and I’ve realized, given some of the feedback that I’ve been getting, that a sequel was necessary, and that sequel is the one that you’re hearing this evening. If, for example, you’ve tried to establish a simple prayer rule and you were unable to hold to it, or there…

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The Law of the Spirit

Allowing God to Transform Evil in Our Lives

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Yes, the question is about the choice that Adam and Eve made. They made a wrong choice, and evil came to be in the world. At the same time now that evil has come to be, people are suffering its consequences, which is absolutely right. What does all of this mean? Well, again, a related question could be: Why does God not remove all evil from the world? And it goes back to what I’ve just said about putting severe limitations on freedom and limiting the potential…

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The Law of the Spirit

What are the Manifestations of Akedia?

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The question is about akedia and its manifestations, and more specifically about choices we make. If we make a choice to move from A to B, does that demonstrate akedia, for example? We should understand akedia as a type of temptation. Sometimes when we are making wise and necessary choices, very often it is not because of akedia.

Akedia presents itself as being a deep dissatisfaction with everything in life. It’s…

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The Law of the Spirit

How Do We Deal With Thoughts (Logismoi) During Prayer?

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What should we do when thoughts come? The Psalms will help wash your heart of the distractions and you will reach the point where you can pray better.

What should we do when thoughts come? By thoughts, we have in mind what the Fathers call logismoi, distractions, iskushenie. Not just distractions, images, weird images, strange images. If you ever ask a monastic what they have to cope with when they’re praying they’ll tell you all kinds of wild stories about the images they get, really wild images they get when they begin to pray.

Some of it is a demonic attack. They’re…

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The Law of the Spirit

What Is Love In The Spiritual Life

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In this 2nd episode, Fr. Maxym addresses the question about love in the spiritual life.

I would like to refer to Saint Philaret of Moscow, a well known 19th century hierarch and one of the greatest preachers of course, of the 19th century in the Russian empire.

He called Christ “love crucified,” “love crucified.”

Of course, he understood full well that we can’t understand what love is without Christ, so, which could explain why people don’t know what love is in our society because if you try to find…

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