St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov): “Hasten in prayer”

Prayer is commanded by the Lord, just as is repentance. There is one appointed end of prayer, as there is of repentance: entry into the Kingdom of Heaven, into God’s Kingdom, which is within us. Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17). The kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:21). Ask and it shall be given you: seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for everyone that asks receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened… the Heavenly Father shall give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him (Luke 11: 9-10,13). Shall not God…avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, and complaining of the violence done to them by the infection of sin and the demons? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. (Luke 18:7-8). Entry into the Kingdom of Heaven, implanted into the heart of every Christian by holy baptism, is the growth of this Kingdom through the action of the Holy Spirit.

Hasten in prayer, thirsting for the salvation of the soul, hasten after the Saviour, accompanied by His innumerable disciples. Call after Him though prayer, like the woman of Canaan (Matthew 15:22-28); do not grieve at His lengthy inattention; endure nobly and humbly the sorrows and humiliations which He will grant you on the path of prayer. Help from temptations is constantly needed for attainment in prayer. It is in accordance with your faith, for your humility, for your steadfastness in your prayer, that He will console you with the healing of your daughter who is agitated by the action of the passions, by the healing of your thoughts and feelings, transforming them from passion-filled to dispassionate, from sinful to holy, from fleshly to spiritual. Amen.

Translated from the Russian by Nicola Dockray


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