American Orthodox Catholic Christianity

Faith Of Our Fathers Series

The Name of Jesus Christ

by Simeon Archbishop of Thessalonica

Let every pious man continually repeat this Name as a payer in his mind and with his tongue. Let him always constrain himself to do this while standing, traveling, sitting, resting, speaking, and doing all things. Then he shall find great peace and joy, as those who have occupied themselves with it know from experience. This activity is both for those in worldly life, and for those monks who are in the midst of turmoil. Each one must strive to occupy himself with this prayer, aeven if to a limited extent only. All, clergy, monks and laymen, must have this prayer as a guide, practicing it according to their ability.

The monks are dedicated, and have an indispensable obligation to do this even thought they are in labors which are in the midst of turmoil. They must constrain themselves to say the prayer constantly, praying to the Lord unceasingly (I Thess. 5:17), even though they are wandering in thoughts and in midst of that confusion which is called "captivity of the mind". They must not be neglectful because their thoughts are stolen by the enemy, but must return to the prayer, rejoicing.

The clergy must be diligent in this prayer as though it were apostolic work and divine preaching, as the one activity which brings about divine effects - one which demonstrates the love of Christ.

Let those who are in the world work at this as a sealing of themselves a sign of their faith, a protector, sanctification, and expeller of every temptation.

All Christians, clergy, laity and monks, when rising from sleep must first think of and remember Christ. They must offer this remembrance to Christ as a sacrifice and first-fruits of every thought (Hebrews 13:15). For we must remember, before every thought, Christ Who saved us and has loved us so greatly, for we are, and are called, "Christians". We put him on by divine Baptism (Gal. 3:27), and we were sealed with His Chrism. We have partaken, and do partake, of His holy Body and Blood. We are His members (I Cor. 12:27) and His temple (II Cor. 6:16). Him do we put on, and He dwells in us. For this reason we are obliged to love Him and remember Him always. Wherefore, let everyone devote time, according to his ability, and have a certain amount of this prayer as an obligation. And this suffices concerning this matter, for this is a sufficient amount of instruction for those who seek concerning it.


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