Prayer is good. I hope you’ll pray after you read this article.
I hope you’ll surrender your heart to God at least temporarily. Let Him enter your heart so that you could calm down and chill a little. I would like you to perceive this state as a spa center of some sort. A spa for your soul.
We’re talking about relaxation of your soul. Calm down. Don’t say anything. Keep calm. Transform yourself. A friend of mine told me, “When I return from Mount Athos, I feel calm for ten days! Instead of being nervous all the time, strange things happen! Whatever happens at home, I remain calm, serene, and quiet. My wife is surprised, too. ‘What’s going on with you? Why aren’t you nervous?’ she asks.” That’s the effect of prayer that changes you from within.
It is because you’ve become one with God. It’s because you’ve become a different person. You are “rebooted”. There are people who attempt to “reboot” themselves with alcohol. You are restarted by prayer.
In contrast to them, you don’t lose your mind and logical thinking. You are made stronger. You don’t need wine, tsipouro, whiskey, or cognac—only the Holy Spirit. You enter an altered state of mind where you see and you don’t see at the same time. You hear and you don’t hear at the same time.
People tell you about their problems that make them anxious or irritated. You look at them with different eyes and from a different vantage point because you’ve touched the mystery and depth of prayer. You’ve dived into the place where there is no commotion. You’ve learned the meaning of the world of Christ. You aren’t troubled by the things that used to bother you a lot. Well, I think if I continue, it will annoy you. Enough. Thank you for your love and for the prayer of love that you will begin to pray with. Pray for yourself, too. And for those who love you. And for those whom you don’t actually love. And for your dearest one. And for the rescue of your marriage. You can pray for me, too, if you want to. May the real prayer unite us all.
Someone asked me, “How do I know that everything is fine with me if I stay in the Church? I see many people who are close to Christ, who go to church, who are baptized, who pray and take part in worship, who perform their social functions well, but they don’t change… or they even get worse sometimes. I notice it everywhere in the world around me. I would like to see a different picture in the church. Father, please tell me how can I be sure that everything is fine with me?”
Here is my answer: There aren’t any unequivocal signs because everything is in God’s hands. The changes that occur are concealed, mysterious, and hidden. The crowd cannot see them.
Some clues are evident, though. Only you and God know what happens inside your soul. It’s invisible. However, everyone can see how you treat your husband or wife, your children, and your neighbors.
Fragment of “Marriage Has Its Challenges” by Archimandrite Andrew (Konanos)
Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds