Dating too soon after separation


Perhaps the three are referring to a definite method for regulating the tempo of respiration so as to coincide with the words of prayer.Their vagueness and failure to supply explicit directions may in that case be deliberate.Palamas seems to accept the ascription of this work to Symeon, but it is today generally agreed that the New Theologian cannot be the true author.



At a somewhat later date, however, there are possible allusions to a co-ordination between the rhythm of breathing and the invocation of the Holy Name in three Sinaite authors, St John Klimakos (seventh century), St Hesychios of Batos (? In Hesychios the phrasing is slightly more specific: ‘Let the Jesus prayer cleave to your breathing.’ Philotheos simply states, ‘We must always breathe God.’How much should we read into statements of this kind?This practice came to be known as ‘monologic prayer’, prayer of a single The real beginnings of a distinctive spirituality of the Holy Name come only with St Diadochos of Photiki (second half of the fifth century), who speaks regularly of the ‘remembrance' or ‘invocation’ of Jesus.This invocation eliminates distractions, empties the mind of images, and so helps us to attain an inner stillness.What was later to become a central point in the physical technique of the hesychasts is plainly affirmed: Jesus is to be invoked with every breath.

It is necessary to wait for several centuries before anything as explicit as this is encountered in the Greek sources.

We need to give it concrete and practical expression in our theology of the sacraments, especially the sacraments of the eucharist and of marriage, and equally in our theology of prayer.


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