Note: The purpose of this anecdote is to encourage both monastics and laymen to pursue noetic prayer. Though some might feel that this demeans psalmody/chanting and the liturgical worship of the Orthodox Church, this is not so. The Fathers throughout history have been both hymnographers and chanters, and feel that this is the most appropriate form of common worship that is pleasing to God, and that there is a time and place for every form of true worship. However, the Fathers have always acknowledged that true prayer of the heart surpassess all, as St. John of the Ladder writes: "Men, whose mind has truly learned to pray, indeed converse with the Lord face to face, as those who have the ear of the king (that is his most close and trusted servants.)” (http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/view/unceasing-prayer-bibilography-and-notes)
"That which we are doing is higher than chanting" (amateur translation)
An ascetic on the Holy Mountain once
sent his disciple to sell his handiwork in Karyes. There, the
disciple heard the most beautiful chanting, in the Church of the
One day, he asked his Elder: “Elder,
I have a thought. We here in the desert are not doing anything. You
should see how they hymn God there: psalmody, choirs, and other
things. Here we only pray with the prayer rope: “Lord Jesus
Another day, the Elder came to him and
said: “Let's go, my child, to see what those fathers are doing.
Let's experience their typikon ourselves.”
And when they were there in church, the
Elder bent down and whispered into his disciple's ear: “Truly, my
child, here they are glorifying God.”
But before he could finish, a strong
earthquake hit; everything was shaking.
Then, immediately, the chanters left
their music books and the “terirems”, and pulled out their
prayer ropes, crying out: “LORD JESUS CHRIST, SON OF GOD, HAVE
MERCY ON US!!!”
The disciple turned to his Elder and
said: “Elder, let's go to our work, to our hesychia, to our
kalyve. That which we are doing is higher than chanting.”
Thus he was truly convinced that the
best prayer is the prayer with the prayer rope.
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth...And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." John 1: 14, 16-17
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and to the ages of ages! Amen!
"As the Prophets saw, as the Apostles taught, as the Church has received, as the Teachers express in dogma, as the inhabited world understands together with them, as grace illumines, as the truth makes clear, as error has been banished, as wisdom makes bold to declare, as Christ has assured, so we think, so we speak, so we preach, honouring Christ our true God, and his Saints, in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in churches, in icons, worshipping and revering the One as God and Lord, and honouring them because of their common Lord as those who are close to him and serve him, and making to them relative veneration.
This is the faith of the Apostles; this is the faith of the Fathers; this is the faith of the Orthodox; this faith makes fast the inhabited world." Excerpt from the Synodikon of the Sunday of Orthodoxy (http://www.anastasis.org.uk/synodikon.htm)
By the Grace of God, here are presented a few true stories of the Saints, sayings of the Holy Fathers, sacred icons, and many other things so that, maybe in a small way, we may remind ourselves that (though we might not be ready to accept it) Jesus Christ is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and that the Holy Orthodox Church is full of Christ's GRACE and TRUTH, and is no less than the Kingdom of God on earth.
I must say that I am not a part of the clergy, so I hope to primarily put forth quotations from the Gospel, Saints and Holy Fathers, and not my own opinions. But if you see my own words or opinions, keep in mind that they are my opinions or comments and they have little weight, as opposed to the quotations from Christ, the Saints and the Fathers which do.
I ask forgiveness if in this site any of my passions are acting, hindering the Grace of the Holy Spirit because of my sins. I apologize for any errors of mine, mistakes, problems with translations, etc. due to my ignorance and conceit. If anyone notices any mistakes or can suggest a better translation, please let me know. I try to post all of my sources. Please also let me know if I am violating any copyrights or other laws, and I will do my best to comply.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!
-I try to update this site fairly regularly. If you are looking for a specific subject, feel free to search for an earlier post that might cover it. I habitually go back and update previous posts too, so though there may not be new info at the top of the site(e.g. for some saint or feast), it's possible that I've updated a previous post with more information, images, etc.
-Please consider the sources for all materials presented. I try to only post reliable information, but I can't be held responsible for every inconsistency or incorrect fact. If you notice an error, please post a comment and let me know. Please keep in perspective material presented without a source, or amateur translations from me.
-Though I don't have explicit permission to reproduce all the material I use on this blog, if I am made aware of some copyright or usage issues, I am very willing to remove the materials in question. If you quote or use material from my blog, please cite the sources where I took it from. If you use some of my amateur translations, please make it clear somehow that it was not a professional translation (unless you can verify my translation).
-Please do not make comments to a post that are irrelevant to the topic being discussed. If there are general comments / questions about the blog, feel free to search for and comment on one of the posts titled "Blog Info / Updates / Suggestions". Comments that are irrelevant to the topic of the post will be deleted.
-If you have a question or a comment about the topic of sources of a post, feel free to comment. However, I ask you to avoid being argumentative, accusatory, combative or bickering. This was not envisioned as a forum for debates, but as another venue to present the stories, writings and miracles of the Holy Fathers and the Church.