April 2

The end of our journey is the Kingdom of God. But we ought diligently to inquire what our aim is to be, for, if it be not known and recognized, we shall only tire ourselves out in vain, since when a man knows not the way he is going, his journey is mere toil and not progress.

The end of our profession is, as we have said, the Kingdom of God…our immediate journey…is purity of heart, without which it is not possible for anyone to arrive at the end….Whatever, then, can guide our steps to this, namely, purity of heart, we must follow with all our powers, and what would draw us away from it we must avoid as deadly and evil. [Interview with Abba Moses.]

~St John Cassian

April 2

Unceasing prayer was enjoined by God Himself. The Savior of the world said, ‘Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.’ ‘And shall God not avenge his own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.’

…in order to become eventually capable of unceasing prayer [one] must practice frequent prayer. Frequent prayer in due time passes automatically into unceasing prayer….

He who does not train himself to frequent prayer will never receive unceasing prayer. Unceasing prayer is a gift of God, given by God to a slave and servant of His of proven fidelity. ‘It is impossible to draw near to God other than by unceasing prayer.’ (St Isaac the Syrian)

Unceasing prayer is a sign of God’s mercy toward a man; it is a sign that all the powers of his soul are bent on God.

~Ignatius Brianchaninov

April 1

The essential, indispensable property of prayer is attention. Without attention there is no prayer. True grace-given attention comes from the mortification of our heart to the world….

The separation of the mind from the heart, and their opposition to one another, have resulted from our fall into sin. It is natural for divine grace, when it stretches out its finger to heal a man, crushed and broken to pieces by his fall, to join together his severed parts and to unite the mind not only with the heart and soul but even with the body, and to give it a single, true ardor for God.

~Ignatius Brianchaninov