Friday, October 24, 2008

ELDER CLEOPA ON PRAYER

This is what was translated of the interview with elder Cleopa of Eternal memory which by His providence I could watch from youtube. Pray it will be of use to you who read .

Part 1

We should be with God at all times
Listen to what Psalm 33 says “I will bless the Lord at all times” “His praise shall continually be in my mouth” For prayer is the life of our soul. We must pray to God at all times! You have seen what Psalm 102 says “In all places of His dominion; bless the Lord, O my Soul!” You have seen that the great Apostle Paul says more clearly: “Pray incessantly”!
For How many hours do you pray in the morning? And How many hours in the evening? St. John the Chrysostom says: One should pray for three hours both in the morning and evening and at least for one hour at midnight!
How many hours do you pray to God, in the morning when you awaken?
Hours, no…
We should, but we don’t pray for hours… You see?! And death comes tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. Our Savior said:” Be alert and pray since you know neither the day nor the hour…” We leave tomorrow or the day after tomorrow! We all leave! Nobody remains, we just don’t know when!
Rotten old man, rotten old man! That’s me!

Part 2

There are 9 stages of Prayer: We should at least just pray with the lips, just our mouth, the lowest stages.
What does Holy Apostle Paul say? Bring to God the fruits of your lips! What does the Holy Spirit say in Psalm 33? “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth. What does the Psalm 102 say? “Bless the Lord, all ye His works, in every place of His dominion” What does the Apostle say? “With my voice I cried unto the Lord …” You see ?! These four types of prayer: of the lips, of the mouth, of the tongue and of the voice are at the bottom of the stages of prayer. These, one learn as a child! After you have prayed for at least 10 years with the tongue, the lips, the mouth and the voice you will see that at some point you need, what the mouth says, to be comprehended by the mind. Not just to say them, pointlessly! And when the man begins to comprehend with the mind what he says with the mouth, he has reached the fifth step, the prayer of the mind.
Is this stage of the prayer of the mind a perfect stage?
No! The prayer of the mind is simply a “bird with one wing”, or half a prayer. Prayer with one leg! Can you walk with one leg? Can you fly with one wing?
There too the mind is attacked by the devils… The 6th Step is needed, the prayer of the heart! To descend with the mind into your heart! And when you descend with the prayer in the heart, with: “O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!”
The mind encounters 2 toll houses: First is the one of imagination, delusion. Do not imagine anything! God was not imagined, Neither the Cherubim, Nor the Seraphim! He does not have a delimited glory. The second toll house is Reason at the hearts gate.
When the mind has descended into the heart, the first sign is a nail of fire in the left nipple, where the heart is for both man and woman! A nail of fire… The heart warms up strongly! A Godly sweetness begins. From the heart, in the chest, the spinal cord, the entire body is fire! And the eyes start shedding tears, but not just tears… One elder, with whom I communicated in the wilderness, was telling me “I descended with the mind into the heart for 2 hours and 10 minutes …and so much godly sweetness came…”Christ met our soul! We have Him in our heart since Baptism. And then the rational side talks to our soul. He told me “In 2 hours and 10 minutes I had five handkerchiefs that I wrung of tears!” That is prayer, with so many tears! That is purity! That is pure prayer of the heart reached by one in 10,000! Among the ones who strive, says St. Isaac the Syrian. And then there are greater prayers, the active prayer, the all–seeing prayer, contemplative prayer… There are no more! I am tired! Contemplative prayer is not even called prayer anymore, it is called Godly vision! With that Saint Paul was raised up to the third heaven! And he didn’t know weather he was inside or outside of his body… That is enough brother! Go away with that fangled toy!

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