John Cassian on Prayer

Prayer changes at every moment in proportion to the degree of purity in the soul and in accordance with the extent to which the soul is moved either by outside influence or of itself. Certainly the same kind of prayers cannot be uttered continuously by any one person. A lively person prays one way. A person brought down by the weight of gloom or despair prays another. One prays another way when the life of the spirit is flourishing, and another way when pushed down by the mass of temptation. One prays differently, depending on whether one is seeking the gift of some grace or virtue or the removal of some sinful vice. The prayer is different once again when one is sorrowing at the thought of hell and the fear of future judgement, or when one is fired by hope and longing for future blessedness, when one is in need or peril, in peace or tranquility, when one is flooded with the light of heavenly mysteries or when one is hemmed in by aridity in virtue and staleness in one’s thinking…

…Our mind arrives at that incorruption of power … that is not concerned with considering any image, and indeed is not distinguished by any accompaniment of voice or words, but with the intention of the mind on fire. is produced through an inexpressible ecstasy of heart, by an unexplainable keenness of spirit, and so the mind altered beyond sense or visible matter pours forth to God with unutterable groans and sighs.”
– Conferences 10.11.6:

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