Today is the last day of this column on Beliefnet.com. After over 12 years of daily writings on Beliefnet, I’m moving on. I thank God for this wonderful experience. As far as I’ve been told, I’m the last original Beliefnet contributing editor and writer; everyone else is new. Now, however, I need to make some […]
This week, I’m featuring tastes of my new book, “Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer,” the chapter on Holy Mt. Athos. You may have seen the “60 Minutes” segment, and want to know more. In my book, I also have a lot of quotes and instructions from the monks on how to use prayer in your life, outside of a monastery.
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Mount Athos has been a cradle of saints, but in terms of the Jesus Prayer certainly one of the most influential is St. Gregory of Sinai. He was born about the year 1265 on the Aegean coast in what is now Turkey. As a boy Gregory, his entire family, and almost all of their fellow villagers were taken captive by Turkish pirates and held for ransom. Once they were all delivered, Gregory, although probably barely in his teens, chose not to return home but traveled instead to Cyprus to begin his formation as a monk. After his novitiate on Cyprus he went to Mount Sinai, to the Monastery of St. Catherine, where he made his solemn profession of monastic vows. A few years later Gregory was on the move again, this time to Crete where he placed himself under the guidance of monk named Arsenios, a man steeped in the art of contemplative prayer. It was Arsenios who taught Gregory how to make the Jesus Prayer an active ongoing interior conversation with God.
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Unlock the Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer. Join the hermits, monks and nuns in peaceful silence and prayer with my new book and feature film. Available now in bookstores everywhere, and on our website, www.JesusPrayerMovie.com