Icxypion wrote:jgress wrote:Hm, you're right that you don't always have a clear feeling. I guess I mean that in my personal experience, I've often been rather passive, as if I just expected God to fill me with good feelings, without bothering to focus on keeping the meaning of the words of the prayer in my mind. When the feelings wouldn't come, I would get discouraged after a while. But that's precisely the point of the Jesus prayer! You're continually asking for Christ's mercy, and His mercy should be what's in your mind.
What have you found helps you resolve this, or refocus and remain in the right or most beneficial frame of mind when praying?
In several books I have read, it was mentioned that when certain devout priests were censing people during the Divine Liturgy, they failed to cense certain people, but strangely censed an area in the church were no one was present. It turns out that when certain folks could not make the Divine Liturgy, but were praying devoutly at home, the priest would cense these people who were spiritually present. However, when another person was present in church bodily, but was so concerned about worldly affairs that he was not spiritually present, the priest did not see him and did not cense him.
One of the books, a biography of St. Nicholas Planas (a contemporary of St. Nectarios of Aegina), stated that St. Nicholas Planas could discern who was spiritually present and who was not at Holy Services, and when asked why he censed a certain area of the church, or did not cense certain persons who were present, he gave the above explanation.
Thus, I try to be spiritually present in all my prayers following the command: Let us be attentive!