By Gabriel Bunge
The Fathers of the Church, deeply-rooted within the Scriptures, have left us a wealthy treasure as inheritance, not just of texts, but additionally of manners, types and gestures of prayer. this present day, western Christianity in a distinct manner, must rediscover the intimate union which needs to exist—in prayer simply as in any element of Christian life—between conception and perform, among contemplation and useful workout. One learns find out how to pray via praying, and the entire of our being is termed to take part during this paintings: the brain, the guts, but in addition the physique, the gaze, the senses. Fr. Gabriel Bunge, a hermit with nice religious discernment and profound wisdom of the Fathers of the barren region, offers with masterly coherence this significant harmony among what one believes and what one expresses within the perform of prayer: a desirable rediscovery of the dear treasure inside the teachings of the Church Fathers at the perform of non-public prayer.
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Extra resources for Earthen Vessels: The Practice of Personal Prayer According to the Patristic Tradition
These are the words that the Fathers constantly repeat [to their spiritual sons]: Faith, children, is made firm by the fear of God, and this in turn is guaranteed by continence; the latter, though, is made unbending by patience and hope, from which the absence of passions is born, while the shoot that springs from this is love. 99 All of those (apparently) “external aspects” of prayer, to which in the following pages such great significance will be attributed, belong jointly and severally to “the practical manner of prayer”, although, being what they are, they already contain within themselves their goal, “the contemplative manner”, as their natural horizon.
About the place [for prayer] one should know that, provided one prays correctly, every place is appropriate for prayer. . 14 The first Christians, in fact, and the early monks in the Egyptian desert also, reserved whenever possible a particular room of their house that was quiet and oriented in a particular way for the recitation of their private prayers. The oratories of the early Egyptian Desert Fathers, which in the past few decades have emerged again from the sand, are easily recognized as such.
117 These “works” testify to his “wisdom”,118 his “righteousness”,119 his “statutes”120 and “ordinances”,121 which are all the expression of that “manifold wisdom” of which Evagrius speaks. 126 Nevertheless, the hidden meaning of Scripture is disclosed to the praying Christian only when the Lord himself and his followers, the apostles and the Fathers, open his eyes to it. ” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
Earthen Vessels: The Practice of Personal Prayer According to the Patristic Tradition by Gabriel Bunge