Motivation in Prayer…

The conviction that prayer should be exclusively a matter of desire holds a specific place among other misconceptions existing in church today. I have personally heard variations of this idea voiced by a variety of people more than a dozen times. The fact of the matter is that because it is difficult for them to pray regularly in the mornings and evenings, they pray occasionally from time to time. Their argument has always been the same: you can’t pray without desire! This is said every time with absolute conviction, as if it were really true. This makes sense, because it really isn’t easy to read the morning and evening prayers every day, and it seems to be such a good excuse… However, truth be told, it is better to be silent than to make such arguments.

Prayer:  We adore Thee O Christ and we bless Thee, for by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.




Motivation in Prayer…  cont.

In reality, self-compulsion is the very basis of prayer. Clearly, prayer without desire does not come close to a sincere and voluntary appeal to God. However, it is useful to ask ourselves, “How often do I feel the desire to pray? The honest answer to this would be “Not very often”, and that is the whole point. If we turned to God only when we felt the desire, we would probably pray, at best, once every couple of months. This is why prayer under compulsion is so widespread in church. It helps us develop the prayer skill. In other words, if you want to learn to pray with desire, try to pray in spite of your unwillingness. In still other words, besides turning to God and showing gratitude for the day, the importance of the evening prayer rule is the “rule” part. It is important that the prayer enters our life and becomes the norm, making it more orderly, measured and calm.

– Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds


O Lord and Master of my life, a spirit of idleness, despondency, ambition, and idle talking give me not.



The holy martyrs, who endured the cruelest sufferings and tortures, where comforted by this very hope. They beheld the joy of abiding in eternal blessedness with God, and counted all the woes and sorrows that they encountered during this brief, temporary life as nothing. Let these words be a consolation to all those who hope in the Lord. We are now living through a very difficult period of life. War is on, many people are perishing, and even more are losing the very roofs over their heads. We do not know what lies ahead, but we understand that most likely there is nothing good awaiting us in this earthly life. Most probably, it will only get worse and harder. Every Christian ascends the Golgotha that God has prepared for him, carrying the cross given him by God’s Providence. And in order to not despair, not despond and not fall in spirit, we need to remember only one thing—there, over the horizon of earthly existence, after our sojourn in this sorrowful veil of tears and suffering, waiting for us is the endless joy of God’s love, which is prepared by our Heavenly Father for people from the foundation of the world. It is a joy that the fallen spirits envy, knowing what blessedness they themselves fell from in their time. Nevertheless, we must never forget that only those who “love God” can attain this joy. And love for God is manifested in our fulfilling His commandments and humbly following His holy will.

– Wartime Notes from Ukraine


But rather a spirit of chastity, humble-mindedness, patience, and love bestow upon me Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord King, grant me to see my failings and not condemn my brother; for blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.


When we’ve been in the dark for a long time and someone shines a light at our face, we will squint and draw away from the light. We will have the perception that the light is awful and terrible and painful. Yet this is not really the case, but only our perception because we’ve been in the darkness for so long. We’ve grown accustomed to it and have not been regularly exposed to the light. That is how it is when we read and study the Scriptures and hear the gospels and the homilies that are based on the gospels. When we become accustomed to the word of God, we are changed and transformed by exposure to the light.

Today, we live fairly comfortable lives. We have what we need and then some. We are entertained and informed nearly 24 hours a day. On this note let me say that we need to be vigilant with our own senses and with our children and the media and screen time they consume. It not only affects their psychology and development, but it also creates an imprint on their souls. Balance and moderation are necessary. I know that you love your children, take the task seriously and do not trust the television or computer to do the job.

Fr. James Guirguis part 1


Yea, O Lord King, grant me to see my failings and not condemn my brother; for blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.


We live comfortable, wealthy lives. We have so much and yet according to our Lord Jesus Christ, if we don’t have His teaching in our lives, we are really empty. More than this, we are already dead. As Christians we are called to live radical lives and that will not look anything like the radicals you see on the news. The radical way of the Christian is the way of obedience to the teachings of Christ and the radical way of love. When we live this radical love, we will probably be attacked and misunderstood. But that is precisely our cross in this world. Listen to the words of the Lord “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it.”

What are we willing to compromise in order to be comfortable or safe in this world? On the other hand, what are we willing to sacrifice in this world in order to be comfortable in the presence of God and His angels and saints? Because we can’t escape that reality. One day, we have to meet God. We will be in His presence. What are you willing to deny yourself for the hope of knowing God more intimately? Will we deny ourselves some of the time we spend on social media or Netflix? Will we deny ourselves some of the time we spend socializing and playing games? Will we deny ourselves some of the time we spend working on our projects and taking on additional work? The time and attention we have are finite. What might happen to us if we dedicated some of these finite resources to the infinite God? Time and energy is given to you as great and precious gifts? How will you answer for these gifts and how you redeemed them?

Fr. James Guirguis   Part 2

Prayer:  O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins. O Master, pardon our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name’s sake.


Too often, we have less patience and faith before the challenges and disappointments of our lives than Peter did. Too often, we convince ourselves that it is pointless to persist in obeying Christ as best we can because our nets apparently remain empty of the blessings that we want for ourselves, our loved ones, and our world. Too often, we impatiently conclude that there is no point in persisting in the difficult struggle of faithfulness to the Lord because we are not getting the quick results that we want. To view the Christian faith in that way, however, is to make it a path for serving ourselves, not the Lord Who reigns from a Cross and an empty tomb. We will never enter His Kingdom by refusing all that does not operate on our schedules or according to our preferences.

Our calling, like that of Peter and the first disciples, is simply to obey Christ’s command to follow Him. When we stumble in doing so, we must cultivate the humble recognition of Peter, who said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” When we recognize that we have distorted the way of Christ into a path for serving ourselves, we must offer the Jesus Prayer from the depths of our hearts as we reorient ourselves toward true faithfulness. When we are tempted to abandon any of the basic practices of the Christian life because they do not appear to produce the results that we would like, we must humbly persist in them out of obedience and grow in our awareness that sharing in the life of Christ is not a magical path to achieving any goal of this life.

Fr Philip LeMasters

Prayer:  Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (3X)

Jesus as Prophet in Luke  (from Navarre Commentary)

Christ is referred to as a “prophet” in Lk 13:33; and 24:19. Because he is true God and true man Jesus Christ is the Prophet par excellence: like none other can he speak in God’s name (cf. Lk 4:18, 43, 9:45; 19:21). In the Old Testament the prophets were moved by the Spirit of God. St Luke underlines the deep, mysterious connexion between the Holy Spirit and the prophetic ministry of our Lord: for example, at Jesus’ Baptism, which marks the beginning of his public ministry, the Holy Spirit descends on him in visible form (cf. Lk 3:22). After being tempted in the wilderness, Jesus returns to Galilee led by the Spirit (cf. Lk 4:14). In the synagogue of Nazareth (cf. Lk 4:16-30), when he reads the text of Isaiah 16:1, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor” (cf. Lk 4:16-30), Jesus applies the text to himself saying that in him this Scripture has been fulfilled.

Throughout the Gospel of St Luke we are being told that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of men. In the Infancy Narrative (chapters 1 and 2) we are constantly being shown how the ancient prophecies of salvation find fulfilment in Christ, those promises made by God to the patriarchs and prophets of the chosen people; the Child who has been born is the long-awaited Saviour: this is the main theme of the Benedictus, the Magnificat, the announcement to the shepherds and the canticle of Simeon.

Salvation is made manifest in the healing of diseases, as in the cases of the woman with the flow of blood (Lk 8 43 48) and the blind man of Jericho (Lk 18 35 42), in the raising of Jairus daughter (Lk 8 50), in freeing people from possession by the devil, as happened in the cases of the man from Gerasa (Lk 8:26-39); in forgiveness of sins, as in the case of the sinful woman (Lk 7:50) and Zacchaeus, to whom Jesus announces that salvation has come (Lk 19:9-10). But in order to be saved one must believe in the power of Jesus Christ; and even though salvation is made manifest in the miracles we have just mentioned, it is not definitively obtained until the next life (cf. Lk 9:24; 13:23; 18:26). Therefore, being saved means entering the Kingdom of God, being freed by Christ from the slavery of sin, from the devil and from death.


Jesus Prayer:  Lord Jesus Christ Son of God have Mercy on me a sinner.