Preliminary reconciliation and attention

a first step...



The first step to be achieved is always reconciliation : for most people, it means reconciliation with themselves. We are always annoyed with ourselves, and this " separation " is for us paradoxically a vital force from which we draw our mood. However only the weak person can be helped, and especially for one who is aware of its weakness : it is the beginning, for the Chritian, this is the beginning of being aware of his own sin, namely of his interiority.
A good way of beginning each day could be to start by taking time to wish ourself a good day, fraternally:" Hi, buddy, we are going to spend 24 h together. So, is it ok today ? "

... Then a second


In his youth, Antoine Bloom met an old lady who asked him how to pray : she had recited for 14 years the monologic prayer without testing any results. He was still a seminarist but advised her to start with doing nothing during the fifteen minutes preceding her first prayer, but paying ATTENTION to everything which was surrounding her... And its prayer indeed started to become efficient. ("School for Prayer ", Antoine Bloom, "Darton, Longman & Todd", 1970)

If you try to sit and pay attention to what crosses your mind during 2 to 3 minutes, while trying to discontinue any association of thoughts which are born, wherever it is, you will realize that this task is impossible, and that unceasingly the machine which is in your head set off again, leading you to mental associations.

This precondition to the prayer which constitutes the first half of it is the development of the ATTENTION ; the hesychast fathers teach that without this part, we cannot begin the second half of the prayer.





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