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Prayer: Quantity & Quality

March 13, 2010

Being enslaved by passions, let us persevere in praying to the Lord: for all those who have reached the state of passionlessness did so with the help of such indomitable prayer. If, therefore, you tirelessly train your mind never to stray from the words of the prayer, it will be there even at mealtime. A great champion of perfect prayer has said: ‘I had rather speak five words with my understanding than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue’ (I Cor. 14:19). Such prayer is not characteristic of children; wherefore we who are like children, being concerned with the perfection of our prayer must pray a great deal. Quantity is the cause of quality. The Lord gives pure prayer to him who, eschewing laziness, prays much and regularly in his own manner, even if it is marred by inattention. – St. John Climacus

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