Dating too soon after separation


Metropolitan Kallistos addresses the question of whether there are parallels between the hesychastic method of prayer and other apparently similar techniques of prayer in Hinduism and Islam. This is something to which as Christians we need to give particular thought at this present time. Jung is typical: ‘Spirit is the living body seen from within, and the body is the outer manifestation of the living spirit — the two beings really one.’ If writers on Chris ­tian spirituality continue to assume a sharp contrast between body and soul — as they have frequently done in the past — their words will seem increasingly irrele­vant to their secular contemporaries. In fact Evagrios is less anti-physical than these words suggest, for he assigns an important function in prayer to such bodily experiences as the gift of tears.



They tell me, however, that it contains odd sorts of schemes and tricks for prayer written down by the Greek monks.It’s like those fanatics in India and Bokhara who sit down and blow themselves out trying to get a sort of tickling in their hearts, and in their stupidity take this bodily feeling for prayer, and look upon it as a gift of God.All that is necessary to fulfil one’s duty to God is to pray simply, to stand and say the Our Father as Christ taught us.That puts you right for the whole day; but not to go on over and over again to the same tune. Besides, it’s bad for your heart.’‘Don’t think in that way about this holy book, sir’, I answered. It was from them that the monks of India and Bokhara took over the “heart method” of interior prayer, only they quite spoilt and garbled it in doing so.’Which of the two is right, the Polish steward or the Russian pilgrim?

‘It was not written by simple Greek monks, but by great and very holy men of old time, men whom your Church honours also [. Is the ‘heart method’ of the hesychasts authentically Christian, a true way of fulfilling the in ­ junction, ‘Glorify God in your body? Already among the monks of fourth-century Egypt it was the custom to use ‘arrow prayers’, short and fervent invocations frequently repeated, as an aid in preserving the continual ‘remembrance of God*.

This practice came to be known as ‘monologic prayer’, prayer of a single The real beginnings of a distinctive spirituality of the Holy Name come only with St Diadochos of Photiki (second half of the fifth century), who speaks regularly of the ‘remembrance' or ‘invocation’ of Jesus.