Prayer more than any labour, brings one near to God – The Spiritual Elder


Whoever has tasted the sweetness of Christ will be diligently occupied in prayer, which, more than any labour, brings one near to God; for in prayer the mind is conmingled with God and becomes the image of its Maker and the recipient of his gifts and a fount of his mysteries.

Through prayer it opens the door to the treasuries of God and becomes his treasurer and the divider of his riches. Through prayer the mind is made worthy to behold the Glory of God an to abide in the majestic Cloud of Light, within the place of the spirits, in stupefaction and silence, void of impulses, in ecstasy, and wonderstruck at the beauty of the many-splendoured rays of light dawning upon it, stupefying the worlds at their sight, which are the life and delight of the spiritual beings, stilling their fiery impulses with their majestic beauty.

These are the unspeakable blessings bestowed on those who are engaged in prayer. Thereby they are called upon to be dwelling for God, and he will be their abode and their resting-place, void of all painful passions. For thereby the soul is united with Christ and thus it sees the glorious splendour of his majesty, and in his brilliance it sees the loveliness of its nature and it exults.

In the travail of prayer there blazes up in the soul the fire of Christ’s love, and the heart becomes frenzied with longing and sets all the members ablaze; it exults with love and loses control of itself. The world is obliterated from the heart as well as its impulses, and it awaits departure from it to be in God and to behold his face constantly for the delighting of its life.

[John of Dalyatha, Discourses of Mysticism, Discourse 21]

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