The prayer of Orthodox Christians was primarily formed in the liturgy of the community rather than inside the walls of monasteries or in the hearts of individual saints. It is the liturgy that provided the regular expression and rhythmical pattern for adoration and intercession. Liturgy is not identical to prayer, even though it is the source and an essential part of prayer. Prayer accompanies every aspect of life and liturgy. The cycle of weekly services, the daily routine of morning prayer and evening song, and the unceasing invocation of the name of Jesus are as intimately connected and as integrally life-giving for the individual at prayer as blood cells are to a body. In this way, liturgy spills over and into the daily life of Orthodox Christians.
Prayer is the touchstone of a person's spiritual life. It discloses the true stature and authentic condition of one's life. Prayer is what ultimately reveals who we are in relation to God and other people. If we can pray, then we can talk to others; if we know how to pray, then we also know how to relate to others. Prayer is a mirror of the inner life. This applies equally to those who
Some Sundays I don’t feel like going to church.
On a typical Sunday morning, I have to get there 2 hours before everyone else.
In that first hour, I have candles to light, entrance prayers to say, vesting prayers to do, and the service of proskomede needs to be done (that’s the service where I prepare the bread, click here to read about it).
Then, in the 2nd hour when all that’s finished, we have the morning service to perform (that is Matins, or Orthros, which you can read about here).
Sometimes parishioners don’t want to come to church either
I know clergy aren’t the only ones that feel this way.
Sometimes, even parishioners don’t want to come to church either. They would rather sleep in, or catch up on grocery shopping, or get ready for another event that may be taking place that day.
1. If somebody isn’t thinking and says something that annoys you, don’t get upset. Ignore them. Never mind what they said. Is that a reason for you to burn? In cases like that, say nothing. Instead of saying ‘That mother-in-law of mine’ll be the death of me’, say, ‘That mother-in-law of mine’ll be the saving of me’. Let me not do anything bad. Let me not think badly of her when she’s my salvation’. The Scriptures say ‘defeat evil with good’. Let’s not do bad things. Good people don’t do bad things when other people are bad or something unpleasant happens.
2. We should always see the good in people. Because if we see what’s not good, we’ll certainly see lots of things, because there’s nobody deficient in those.
3. If you want an infallible society, without imperfections, without differences and contrasts, you’re not going to find it, no matter where you go. On one day, you might not find anything bad, but you certainly will the next. That’s the society we live in.
4. We should be magnanimous. The grace of the Holy Spirit gives magnanimity. ‘The fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness and restraint’. ‘Those who are of Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires…’ Because once a passion’s inflamed, it’s difficult.