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Five Stages In Contemplative Prayer (in Eastern Orthodox Mysticism)

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  • Thomas Daniel
    Five Stages In Contemplative Prayer (in Eastern Orthodox Mysticism) The Jesus Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Be Merciful We have mainly five stages.
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 12, 2002
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      Five Stages In Contemplative Prayer (in Eastern Orthodox Mysticism)

      The Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Be Merciful"

      We have mainly five stages. This is, roughly, the course of the development of the Jesus Prayer. Each stage has its own grace.

      + Firstly. The reciting of the Jesus Prayer VOCALLY. We repeat the Jesus Prayer with our lips while trying at the same time to focus our attention on the words of the prayer.

      + Secondly. Then the nous takes the Jesus Prayer and says it noetically [WITHIN, MENTALLY OR SPIRITUALLY]. Our whole attention is found again in the words but it is concentrated on the nous [the soul's attention, the Eye of the soul]. When the nous gets tired then we start again to vocalize the prayer with the lips. After the nous has been rested we start again to concentrate our attention there. St. Neilos advises: Always remember God and your nous will become heaven.

      + Thirdly. The Jesus Prayer then comes down into THE HEART. Nous and heart are now united and combined with each other. Attention is centered in the heart and it is immersed again into the words of the Jesus Prayer which has an invisible depth.

      + Fourthly. The Prayer becomes now self-activating [PRAYER WITHOUT CEASING]. It is done while the ascetic is working or eating or discussing or while he is in church or even while he is sleeping. "I sleep but by heart waketh" is said in the Holy Scriptures (Song of
      Songs 5:2).

      + Fifthly. Then one feels a divine soft flame within his soul burning it and making it joyful [LOVE, DEVOTION, WARMTH AND VISIONS OF DIVINE LIGHT]. The grace of Christ lives in the heart. The Holy Trinity is established. "We become the habitation of God, when He lives within us, established in the memory. Thus we become the temple of God when Remembrance of His is not disturbed by earthly cares, and mind is not distracted by unexpected thoughts. Fleeing all that, the Friend of God withdraws into Him, chasing away the passions which invite intemperate thoughts, and occupying himself in a way which leads to virtue." (Saint Basil the Great) Thus he feels the Divine Presence within himself and this grace passes through the body which becomes dead to the world and is crucified [THE NOUS RISES ABOVE BODY-CONSCIOUSNESS DURING CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICE]. And this is the extremist stage which is sometimes connected with the Vision of the Uncreated Light of the Holy Trinity.

      -- Archim. Hierotheos Vlachos,

      "A Night in the Desert of the Holy

      Mountain," Birth of Theotokos Monastery,

      Levadia, ISBN: 960-7070-04-6



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    • Jai Abe Cherian
      Hi, In the current scenerio as the chance of Mr.P.C.Alexander is nil,I think it is wise to stop the arguments related to the matter. I am a member of the
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 12, 2002
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        Hi,

        In the current scenerio as the chance of Mr.P.C.Alexander is nil,I think it is
        wise to stop the arguments related to the matter.

        I am a member of the Syrian Orthodox Church,and support Mr.Babu Paul in his
        stand ie;as a Keralite, a Syrian Christian,also a member of the Orthodox
        community(eventhough he belongs to the other faction) we should be proud on his
        proposed candidsature for the highest position in world's largest
        democracy.Also,remember BJP supported him because if he becomes the President
        the chance for Ms.Sonia Gandhi to become PM will almost be closed;The congrss
        was reluctant to support PCA forf the same reason only!

        My opinion is we, Syriac Orthodox Christians should not be short sighted, as do
        sometimes.

        Thanking you,

        Jai Abe Cherian.
      • Jomy philip Joseph
        Dear members, will someone please explain to me which is this catholicate that was established at devalokam in 1912? i mean....at antioch there are patriarch s
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 12, 2002
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          Dear members,

          will someone please explain to me which is this catholicate that was
          established at devalokam in 1912?

          i mean....at antioch there are patriarch's of chalcedonians,
          non-chalcedonians (syrian orthodox church) and the eastern
          catholics.....and then i suppose there is a patriarch-catholicos of
          the nestorians (assyrian church of the east) at seleucia-ctisephon
          or babylon.

          i dont know about any other catholicates or patriarchates which
          used to exist in the far east.

          ....and what exactly is the difference between a patriarch and a
          catholicos?
          Jomy
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