Monday, August 10, 2009

Saying of the Desert Christians: Abba Agathon 3


Abba Agathon said, “I consider no other labor as difficult as prayer. When we are ready to pray, our spiritual enemies interfere. They understand it is only by making it difficult for us to pray that they can harm us. Other things will meet with success if we keep at it, but laboring at prayer is a war that will continue until we die.”

Some thoughts:

Cannot begin to tell you how important this Saying is to me. Or how true I find it. Cannot begin to tell you all the really good ideas that pop into my head just at the time I pick up my Prayerbook or breviary to pray an office. Or the scads of things that come to mind that I Simply Must Do This Very Instant during an office. For years now, I have gone to Prayerbook and Breviary accompanied by a piece of paper and a pencil to jot down the thought so I know it will be handled at a more appropriate moment.

As is an Episcopalian, I am no more comfortable with the ideas of demons etc. than is any other Episcopalian. But there surely is something that wants to keep me from prayer. Day in and day out. No wonder prayer is sometimes referred to as "spiritual combat."

Is your experience anything like mine?


  • At 7:29 PM, Blogger Gus said…

    Morning Prayer: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation - oh, meditation, that word sounds like 'medication,' and I have to refill the dog's pills - meditation of my heart - I think I'll take some soup to Melissa, imagine a heart attack at her age! - was I doing something here? I wonder if Gerald answered my email yet?" (wanders off to computer)

    Yep. I'm in the same boat. Then later I wonder why I can't remember what the readings were this morning. "I did Morning Prayer today - I ought to know! Maybe I'm getting senile."



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