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Prayer & Psalmody

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Prayer & Psalmody - St Shenouda Monastery Pimonakhos Articles

Pray as is fitting and without trouble, practise psalmody with understanding (Ps. 46: 8) and harmony, and you will be like a young eagle soaring in the heights.

• Psalmody puts the passions to sleep and works to calm the incontinence of the body; prayer prepares the mind to exercise the activity that is proper to it.

• Prayer is an activity befitting the dignity of the mind, or, indeed, the superior and pure activity and use of the mind.

• Psalmody belongs to multiform wisdom (Eph. 3:10); prayer is the prelude to immaterial and non-multiform knowledge.

• Knowledge is excellent, for it cooperates with prayer to awaken the intellectual power of the mind to contemplation of divine knowledge.

• If you have not yet received the charisma of prayer or psalmody, wait for it and you will receive it.

• Scripture says, ‘He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart’ (Luke 18: 1). So in the mean time do not lose heart nor be disheartened that you have not received, for you will receive later. Then he continued later in the parable: ‘Though I have no fear of God and no regard for people, yet because this woman keeps troubling me, I will grant her justice’ (Luke 18: 4-5). Therefore, in this way too will God speedily grant justice to those who cry to him day and night (Luke 18: 8). Be of good courage then as you persevere diligently in holy prayer.

• To pray without distraction is a considerable achievement, but greater still is the ability to practise psalmody also without distraction.

• The prayer of the irascible person is an abominable incense offering (Isa. 1:13); the psalmody of an angry person is an irritating noise.