Love, teach us to pray

Written by Fr. Lev Gillet, also known as “A Monk of the Eastern Church,” In Thy Presence is a book of short spiritual reflections on the presence of Christ. As in the case of the quotation below, these reflections are sometimes imagined as words spoken from our Lord to the believer.

“My child, do not debate what form prayer should take. Leave to others the distinguishing of stages and techniques. But for thy part, while being grateful to those who have known how to communicate the richness, the living flame of their prayers, be wary of theories which fetter or entangle the simple impulse of love.

My child, everything is so simple! Prayer is nothing other than that impulse of love which can express infinity in a fraction of a second.

The kernel of all prayer is an act of love. Some words, very few words, one word only will suffice to direct a loving impulse toward Me.

As soon as thou hast said with thy whole soul: ‘I love Thee,’ or ‘Give me Thy Love,’ or simply: ‘I love,’ when thou hast thus united thyself with universal Love, thou hast said all.

According to the place or the circumstances, and to avoid embarrassing others, thou canst use paraphrases and discreet adaptations of this impulse of love: but it is in this impulse that the essential abides.

Infinite Love, place on my lips the word of love which is addressed to Love.”

Excerpt from In Thy Presence by Lev Gillet, St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1977, p. 66.

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