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Thursday, January 13, 2005

Sayings of the Holy Fathers:

"If you do not feel like praying, you have to force yourself. The Holy Fathers say that prayer with force is higher than prayer unforced. You do not want to, but force yourself. The Kingdom of Heaven is taken by force." (Matt. 11:12).

St. Ambrose of Optina (+1891)


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"Through the prayer of faith we can obtain from the All-merciful and All-bestowing God all spiritual and indispensable earthly blessings besides, if only the prayer is fervent and the desire to obtain these blessings sincere. And what prayers the Church puts into our mouths! Such, that by means of them we can easily incline the Lord to be merciful to us and to bestow upon us every good gift. The enemy, knowing God's goodness and the power of prayer, endeavors by every means to deter us from it, or during the prayer tries to distract our minds, to hinder us by various passions and attachments to earthly things, or by hurry, disturbance, etc."

St. John of Kronstadt
[My Life in Christ]



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"To acquire prayer is to acquire eternity. When the body lies dying, the cry 'Jesus Christ' becomes the garment of the soul; when the brain no longer functions and other prayers are difficult to remember, in the light of the divine knowledge that proceeds from the Name our spirit will rise into life incorruptible."

Archimandrite Sophrony
(His Life is Mine, Part 2: Chapter 2; SVS Press pg. 120)