“Amongst all good works, which is the virtue which requires the greatest effort? Said a brother to Abba Agathon. He replied, ” Forgive me, but I think there is no labour greater than that of prayer to God.”
Dear WordPress Family,
Abba Agathon was a monastic monk/desert father in the 4th century. I was reminded of the above quotation while I contemplated the Prayer for Peace for November. I can’t help but believe his words. Prayer is a great labor. It’s a wonderful labor that requires constant obedience. To me, prayer is a way I console, praise, show love, plead to God and lay in His arms.
This month’s Prayer for Peace flows through me as I asked God about the suffering in the world. How can the recent acts of violence around the world help us to progress?
As I asked this question I hear the word compassion…over and over again. I have compassion for the army vets that are away from home. I have compassion for the Syrian refugees whom are making a new home amongst a land they do not know. I have compassion for the victims of the attacks in Paris just a few days ago as well as their families and friends. Are these events just? Not from my eyes or the eyes of those I’ve spoken to about worldly events.
How can one prayer sum it all up for Peace? It can’t. Prayer is laborious and needed without ceasing. I never fully understood this saying of St. Paul until I read a quote from Abba Lucius from the book, To Pray and To Love. He speaks of pray without ceasing as not only praying but service with love.
So, when I have spent the whole day working and praying, making thirteen pieces of money more or less, I put two pieces of the money outside the door and I pay for my food with the rest of the money. He who takes the two pieces of money prays for me when I am eating and when I am sleeping; so, by the grace of God, I fulfill the perception to pray without ceasing. – Abba Lucius
So, pray, work and give love through generosity and not self-sacrifice; if you give but feel you are sacrificing then how is that giving love but rather giving in vain?
So, this month’s Prayer for Peace is dedicated to those that pray without ceasing:
Today I pray for the lonely or vulnerable or those that don’t pray without ceasing.
I pray that one day they will be able to give love out of generosity and unconditionally.
There is but one way to live out the virtue of prayer and that is through communicating using our whole being.
It is our truth and nature to solemnly live our days out consulting with one another and You, God, by actively listening; listening in the sense of having the intention to pursuit what is just for all of humanity and not only blind knowledge.
Please shine Your Light on those that pray without ceasing, Dear Lord.
Show them that their giving heart is plentiful and just.
Show them how their good deeds and prayers go hand-in-hand.
Wake them up to the beauty You created to enjoy with them.