Fr. Aimilianos of Simonopetra (Mount Athos, +2019) talks about the purpose of prayer for an Orthodox Christian: “They are not moved by any personal interest. They never think that way. Their target is very high. It is the communion itself, the descent of God Himself in his or her life… it is natural for them to pray for the whole world”.
Languages: English (adapted after Romanian version @Elena Dinu), German, Greek
Video recording: Ormylia Greek Monastery, Greece, 1990
Therefore, these monks who pray, after all, it is obvious that they do not seek to satisfy certain personal needs.
There is nothing to determine them to offer themselves to God or to relate to Him.
They are not moved by any personal interest. They never think that way. On the contrary!
The saints pray as a single being who has the full understanding that it is rising, not physically, but in a real way, to God.
Therefore, all the monks pray. Their target is very high. It is the communion itself, the descent of God Himself in his or her life, it is deification, as we usually say. Therefore, the monks pray, day and night! Because this is their work!
And they really manage to get closer to the embrace with God. When we say “communion” it means that we discover the relationship and our identity with the Church.
And the Church ascends to God, as Christ once descended from Heaven.
The whole Church, everyone, not only the monks, by praying, they succeed, as we do understand now, to feed themselves and to live only from this communion [with God]. [It is accomplished] Through this work, through this prayer, which keeps man close to the divine, and God is embraced by man.
Well, if the monks don’t pray for themselves and for their own interests, for their needs, which they constantly try to minimize, in order to stay away from problems, it is natural for monks to pray for the whole world.
For the whole world, for the whole Church, this power and work, will last unto the ages of ages.
And in this Church there are sinners, there are saints, righteous and angels, I mean, all the people… everything God created, everyone that He has in His bosoms…
And these things, which are the work of the Lord, are imitated by the monks, by participating in the economy of God [1 Timothy 1:4].
And, as I said, they include all the people in their embrace, in their prayer. In other words, this is their work…