In the third part of the video interview, Fr. Aimilianos of Simonopetra (+2019) talks about the purpose of Jesus Prayer, a powerful and transformative prayer of the Orthodox Church.
Languages: English (adapted after Romanian version @Elena Dinu), German, Greek
Video recording: Ormylia Monastery, Greece, 1990
What is the purpose of the Jesus Prayer?
The purpose of the [Jesus] Prayer is not a method, nor the words, or the place, or hesychia [stillness], or something else which this prayer involves.
We can say that the purpose of the Prayer is what is being worked by God in you.
What God works in our inner being… What He works is an experience. But it is not only the experience of God! It is also a revelation of the way He comes, of how the coming of God happens. The Personal God within the human personality… And of course, He comes in Light!
And one still feels and understands at the end of his or her ascent, the union which is performed…
And with this union, the purification comes, the spiritual advancement comes, the growth of the little baby which is being born into man.
Even more, the Spirit gives one a permanent divine state from which he or she climbs towards illumination, towards light, towards a flourishing on different levels which God offers and opens to us.
The purpose of Prayer, in a word, we could say, is a perfect mystery of the unseen God, the One now felt, and the visible person… a mystery performed by God. This mystery has been revealed to us by the Fathers of the Church. We also know from experience, always, how to become a recipient of God. Not through reasoning and meditation, but in a way that God penetrates the human person, and transforms it entirely. And so, he or she becomes a person who can taste, understand and comprehend this mystery.
Now that we’re talking about the purpose of the Prayer, we have to note something… There are several higher levels to which man ascends when he or she practices the Jesus Prayer. But, for the moment, we set them aside. Because, we can’t talk about something that only a person knows, and only he or she can reveal it to another person.
So, it is a continuous climb. It is an ever-rising communion, perfect, unchanging. I mean, no person changes, neither one, nor the other. There is a divine vision and a communion with the unseen. This person lives this greatness… He or she lives the godly things in an inexpressible joy and happiness. And in his way, he runs without any obstacle, but, however, without being able to tell it to the others. He is the one who experienced it, he carried it, and hence, this man which climbs to the highest levels of prayer, which unfold in the depths of the heart.
These steps, this advancement of man, can’t be interpreted by us, dear Mr. Werner, on the TV screen. It’s something that cannot be observed by the human reasoning. From now on we should let God to search for the people who want it, fight for it and succeed to go up there with divine help.