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Publican Prayer Book
In Holy Baptism, we were given the gift of the Holy Spirit--the seed of Divine life planted in our heart--and we became the living tabernacle of God's glory. "Are you not aware that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you . . . holy is the temple of God, and this temple you are." And so, God dwells in us; we live always in His presence. He is more present to us than the air we breathe and more vital to our life than the beating of our heart. "In Him, we live and move and have our being."
Yet, God's presence in us is most subtle. He beckons us in the whisper of a still, small voice, "desiring to be desired and loving to be loved" (St. Maximos). But He never compels us.
As St. Ignatios of Antioch says, "I hear within me a living water that murmurs: Come to the Father." And, He awaits our response. "For where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." So, we can either follow Him, or we can choose to ignore Him and occupy ourselves with the things of this world. In fact, the more we live a worldly life, the less able we become to sense His presence. For when we allow the cares of the world, the pleasures of the senses and the passions of the flesh to captivate our heart, our spiritual ability to perceive God's presence fades. God remains within us, but we, ourselves, are not present before Him: we are occupied in the world outside ourselves (St. Augustine). Thus, instead of God's temple, we make our heart a temple of idols (St Maximos). "For where your treasure is, there shall your heart be also."
Then, we experience--not God's presence, but His absence. For, when we set our heart on the kingdom of man, rather than on the Kingdom of God, we squander our Divine inheritance for what fails to satisfy. We trade the fullness of life for the beguiling illusion of a full life--and gain only emptiness.
Nonetheless, God has created you for Himself. He fashioned you from the clay of the earth; but He has fitted you for the Kingdom of Heaven! For, when God formed the first man, He breathed into him the "spirit of life, and man became a living soul." St. Gregory the Theologian describes this spirit as "the effluence of the invisible Divinity"--"a divine particle"--infused into the soul to predispose it to share in the Divine Nature. Thus, man was created with a spiritual nature so that he might be in constant communion with God and share the very life of the Holy Trinity. Hence, Saint Basil the Great expresses the glory of our true vocation: "Man is a creature ordered to become God!"
And so, dear Christian, honor your high calling! Acknowledge the noble rank and Divine adoption mystically imparted to you by Holy Baptism. Claim your birthright as a child of the Kingdom, and cultivate the seed of Divine life sown in your heart. How? By prayer. "Prayer is baptism made manifest" (St. Gregory of Sinai). It is the life-breath of the soul, the natural speech of the human spirit with the Spirit of God. Prayer is the essence of our personal relationship with God: it is intimacy with God. Prayer is the means by which we live Divine life, and it is life itself. "If you deprive yourself of prayer it is like taking a fish out of water. For as water means life to a fish, so prayer means life to you" (St. John Chrysostom).
By prayer, we live in God. Through prayer, we come "to know Christ's love which surpasses knowledge" that we "might be filled with all the fullness of God" and become, truly, "partakers of the Divine Nature." "For love is the very life of the Divine Nature" (St. Gregory of Nyssa). This gift of Divine love, poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit perfects human nature until, by grace, it appears in unity and identity with the Divine Nature" (St. Maximos).
In prayer, heart speaks to Heart, and, as we commune with God, the consuming fire of Divine love purifies our heart from all sin and defilement and transforms us more and more into His likeness. Like Moses on Mount Sinai, whose face became radiant with Divine glory as God spoke with him, so, too, in prayer, "we all . . . reflecting as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His very image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord."
And so, the Lord Jesus Himself instructs us that we "ought to pray always and not lose heart," and that we should "watch and pray at all times." Likewise, Saint Paul bids us: "Pray without ceasing;" "pray at all times in the Spirit." St. John Chrysostom counsels that prayer should be "a constant state which endures by night and day." St. Basil urges: "Let the time for prayer be the whole of life." And St. Gregory of Sinai proclaims: "Remembrance of God, or mental prayer, is higher than all other works; as love for God, it stands at the head of all virtues." Indeed, prayer is "the divinizing virtue," according to St. Gregory Palamas.
* Morning Prayers
* Prayers during the Day
* Prayers before Sleep
* Prayers for Various Needs
Holy Communion and Confession:
* Preparation for Holy Communion
* Canon of Preparation for Holy Communion
* Preparatory Prayers for Holy Communion
* Thanksgiving after Holy Communion
* Mystery of Holy Repentance or Confession
* Order of Preparation for Holy Confession
* Rite of Holy Confession
The Liturgical Year:
* Menalogion--Calendar of Feasts
* Common Troparia of the Saints
* Great Octoechos--The Eight Tones
* Troparia for the Days of the Week
* Troparia & Kontakia for Great Lent & Pascha
* The Paschal Hour
Canons And Akathists:
* Order for Praying Canons & Akathists
* Paschal Canon of St. John of Damascus
* Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom
* Canon of Repentance
* Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
* Supplicatory Canon to Our Lord Jesus Christ
* Paraklesis--Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos
* Canon to the Holy Guardian Angel
* Akathist to the Sweetest Lord Jesus
* Akathist to the Mother of God
Selected Texts Of The Fathers:
* On Prayer
* On the Jesus Prayer
* On the Heart
* On Repentance
* On Holy Communion
* On Holy Scripture
* On Holy Tradition
* On Discernment
* On Spiritual Warfare
* On Fasting
* To Parents
* The Christian Home
* Fasting According to the Ancient Discipline
* Practical Suggestions for Fasting
* Spiritual Aids for Living Life in Christ
* Glossary of Terms
And as the sinner let us bow down before the Master.
He desires the salvation of all mankind.
He grants forgiveness to all who repent.
For our sake He became Man though He is God,
Coeternal with the Father.