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On Prayer of the Nous and Heart

The main goal of the monastic life (and for the life of everyone, indeed) is to unite us very strongly with God, Who is the ultimate. When a person is united with God and God dwells within his heart, he lacks nothing. There is no void within his soul. Furthermore, he does not even lack any material thing necessary for living in this present life. This is but one more proof of how much God loves those who obey Him.

Prayer is the means by which we are united very closely with God. By "prayer," we do not mean just praying now and then in front of icons, but along with this---which we must do---a person uses seven words of prayer, which he says when he works, when he eats, when he sits, and when he occupies himself with anything whatsoever, without stopping! We say these words with the mouth, with the nous, or with the heart: "LORD JESUS CHRIST, HAVE MERCY ON ME."

Saying them constantly does not does not tire us. In the beginning one must persist a little; but later, he becomes accustomed to it and says the prayer with great ease and does not want to stop. When he says it, he feels so much spiritual exultation that even at the most difficult moments, if there are any, he is not disturbed or troubled. Rather, with patience he takes refuge in Christ, Whom he entreats to have mercy on him, and Christ consoles him and gives him joy. What is more beautiful than to entreat Christ at every moment and to say His holy name with these lips of clay? Is there a greater honor?

These words contain our whole faith. In saying "Lord," we believe that we are servants of God and that He is our lord. This honors Christ, that we make Him our lord, but it also honors us, who are servants of such a lord, Who is God.
When we say "Jesus," which is the human name of God, all the earthly life of Christ, from His birth to His Ascension, comes to mind.

In saying "Christ," which means anointed by God, king of heaven and earth, we confess and believe that Christ is our God, Who created everything and is in heaven and will come again to judge the world.

In saying "have mercy on me," we entreat God to send us His help and His mercy, for we acknowledge that without divine help we are not able to do anything. This, in brief, is the explanation of these holy words. Whoever says them experiences many things.

With my whole heart I pray that our sweet Jesus will give you this prayer within your soul, that you may taste the spiritual ambrosia of prayer and are replenished overall.