THE JESUS PRAYER

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner"

INTERIOR SILENCE & THE JESUS PRAYER

By The Right Reverend Father Michael D. Jordan

In order to practice "ceaseless prayer" as St. Paul suggests, we must first bring our minds that are a battleground of conflicting thoughts into a state of silence and peace.  To acquire interior silence, is to receive one of the greatest rewards of prayer to our Lord Jesus Christ. What a gift it is to be able to purge your mind of all conflicting thoughts and images and look deep inside your soul to discover the Tabernacle of God within you. This is a state that takes a lot of time to accomplish, once there, you are only at the first level of defense against Satan and his evil demons.

Every level of success that you reach, you can expect equal and furious attacks from the evil one. Since the dawn of mankind, evil has been waging war against our souls. Often we stumble and fall in the battle; however, our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ becomes our shield and buckler against these attacks. We may be wounded temporarily by sin but the war has already been won by our Lord and Savior. We must remember that we are protected from permanent harm by the Sacrifice of the Lamb of God, and the power of His Life-Giving Cross.

The uphill battle to interior silence is the hardest ground to take, it will appear to you that you are making no progress at all; however, regard this as a trick of the evil one. Your efforts, even if they seem to have no effect are working, it takes time to achieve results. This is one of the ways that God tempers the steel of your soul. If you are not strong enough to fight off demons on the lowest level, you will still be defenseless when you reach the summit of interior silence! If you reach interior silence without the proper defenses, itís like the man in the Scriptures that swept and cleaned his house, then took in seven spirits into his home worse than the first. The state of that manís soul is worse than the first. You have cleaned out the evil thoughts and cleared your mind so at that point you may be attacked by demons more crafty and worse than the ones you escaped at the foot of the mountain.

Consider the search for interior silence to be a fine talent. As with any fine talent, one must practice many hours to accomplish the talent. Daily practice is recommended, the more time you spend in this endeavor the better. If you become disgusted and give up at the first sign of failure, it will take you longer and longer to achieve your goal. The following exercises are designed to help you relax, then slowly clear your mind of all thoughts. You must keep in mind that you will have to re-train your mind not to give notice to wayward thoughts that pop into it continually during every moment of your life. You are building a weapon against demons by blocking out their foot soldiers and their first line of attack. All sin begins with a thought, then proceeds along a sordid path until it surrenders your soul to the attacking demon. To overturn sin successfully, it is imperative that you guard your mind from every angle. Take heart in your endeavors, many Saints struggled all their mortal lives trying to obtain this lofty goal. All that we can truly hope for is a reasonable measure of success. Believe me, the Lord understands, after all, He took on flesh so that He could fully understand the human condition.

Instructions

    1. Does this thought make me feel anger toward any thing or any one?
    2. Does this thought incite a prideful feeling in me?
    3. Does this thought make me feel peaceful, or uneasy?
    4. If I were to heed this thought, would any of the precepts of Christianity be compromised?

Most of the time, when you begin to apply these tests to a thought, it will dissipate if it was from Satan; otherwise, if it is from God, you will have positive answers to the 4 test questions above. If you apply light to one of Satanís tricks, it cannot stand in the light, and will have to withdraw.

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