Author Topic: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer  (Read 2118 times)

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Offline Papist

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Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« on: June 04, 2013, 05:15:11 PM »
I have read many posts on this forum which state that it is dangerous to pray the Jesus Prayer without the guidance of a spiritual father.

This got me wondering, what do the Orthodox think of Catholics (Byzantine, Oriental, or Latin) who pray the Jesus prayer? Do you believe it is spiritually dangerous for such people to pray this payer?

Not trying to start a fight over who is truly the true Church. I am just intellectually curious.

Thanks, and God bless.
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Offline mike

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2013, 05:16:01 PM »
I think nothing.

Offline Dominika

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2013, 05:19:21 PM »
My RC mother does it. And I think (and she also claims so) it's more beneficial for her than e.g rosary. But of course she does not experiment with these techniques of proper breathings, sitting, too much quantities etc. She doesn't know so much about the Uncreated Light, Divine Energies and so on. She just prays it and I find it very good.
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Offline spyridon

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2013, 06:37:55 PM »
My Mother and Aunt (both RC) have prayed the Jesus prayer for over a year now and they find it gives them a spiritual centre. They don't follow and breathing exercises or such like either.
I would also be interested in an Orthodox opinion on any perceived spiritual danger this may cause?

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2013, 08:09:10 PM »
I don't think there's any spiritual danger in simply praying the Jesus Prayer. I believe that the danger to which others refer is in making it a "mystical" discipline (i.e. pseudo-hesychastic navel-gazing with the expectations of amazing visions and revelations).

I was taught that we are to focus on the words that we say, rather than treat them as nonsensical sounds that we repeat hundreds of times (i.e. the Far-Eastern "mantra" approach). However, I'm no spiritual director, so everything I just said is merely conjecture and hearsay.

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2013, 08:38:24 AM »
I think nothing.

I don't think on the surface anyway that there is anything wrong here. But some more scholared than I would most likely point out some problems if this prayer is used as a mantra.  Even Orthodox Christians have to be careful how this prayer is used. 

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2013, 08:39:53 AM »
Honestly, Im still trying to get into a good habit of doing it myself. I say more power to you. Remember, the Jesus Prayer is a PRAYER. IMO it never hurts to ask for mercy.

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Offline jah777

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2013, 09:51:00 AM »
In general, saying the Jesus Prayer can be dangerous if, without the guidance of an experienced spiritual father, one is attempting to manipulate their breathing in an unnatural way while saying the Prayer, and/or one is spending prolonged periods of time exclusively saying the Prayer (as opposed to saying the Prayer while doing other things).  The danger involved could be to one's health if one is unnaturally manipulating their breathing without guidance, or one could fall into spiritual delusion by misunderstanding experiences which may occur during prayer.  There is always a possibility of spiritual delusion, mostly from pride and the absence of proper guidance, but the possibility is much greater if one is spending prolonged periods of time saying the Prayer exclusively.

As for Roman Catholics saying the Prayer, if they are not saying it exclusively for prolonged periods and are not unnaturally manipulating their breathing, they may not be in much danger of what may result from these activities.  However, a Roman Catholic will not have the proper background, understanding, formation, or phronema to pray the Jesus Prayer properly or to make great progress in saying the Prayer.  This has been attested to by converts to Orthodoxy from both Roman Catholicism and Eastern Rite Catholicism who practiced the Jesus Prayer prior to their conversion.  One particular person, who is now a monk on Mt. Athos, Fr Theophanes (Constantine), has written a multi-volume work entitled "The Psychological Basis of Mental Prayer in the Heart" where he discusses the differences in Orthodox and Roman Catholic understandings of the human person and spiritual development, and how these differences effect one's ability to understand and make progress in the prayer of the heart:

http://timiosprodromos4.blogspot.com/2006/01/description-of-work.html

There used to be a video interview with Fr. Theophanes where he discusses saying the Jesus Prayer as an Eastern Rite Catholic and his realization that he would have to convert to Orthodoxy in order to say the Prayer properly and make genuine progress.  Unfortunately, I think this video is no longer accessible.

Offline WUnland

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2013, 12:54:49 AM »
With all respect, I am thoroughly confused.  I am a Roman Rite Catholic so perhaps you may enlighten me.  The "Jesus Prayer" is a prayer, nothing more.  How can it be dangerous for ANYONE to ask for mercy from Jesus?  

It seems to me that we are wandering into superstition if we attribute some great supernatural powers to a prayer, or spiritual exercise, or am I totally missing something here.

I know some in my own Church wander over the line into attributing "powers" to an action such as wearing a scapular.  This is superstition and NOT supported by Church teachings. Wearing a piece of cloth is nothing more than a sign of devotion, in and of itself it is nothing more than a symbol.  Some in my Church however believe that it is a "guarantee" of avoiding purgatory. If I am not misreading this thread, it seems that it is being suggested that the Jesus Prayer has some "special power" that we who are not initiated can't quite handle....if that is the viewpoint of the Orthodox I must admit that I just don't get it.  

To my mind. all of our spiritual exercises, prayers, and devotions are entreaties to God, and of themselves do nothing and cause nothing, save express our own faith and desire to improve our spiritual lives.

With this in mind I humbly ask: how is an Orthodox believer better prepared than a Roman Catholic to ask Jesus for mercy through the "Jesus Prayer"? Why does one need a spiritual guide to be able to say this prayer?

I am seeking to know your viewpoint and am in no way intending to be flippant.  I just don't understand.

Thank you,
William Unland
« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 01:05:25 AM by WUnland »

Offline Nephi

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2013, 01:00:30 AM »
With all respect, I am thoroughly confused.  I am a Roman Rite Catholic so perhaps you may enlighten me.  The "Jesus Prayer" is a prayer, nothing more.  How can it be dangerous for ANYONE to ask for mercy from Jesus?  

It seems to me that we are wandering into superstition if we attribute some great supernatural powers to a prayer, or spiritual exercise, or am I totally missing something here.

I know some in my own Church wander over the line into attributing "powers" to an action such as wearing a scapular.  This is superstition and NOT supported by the Church.  All of our spiritual exercises are entreaties to God, and of themselves do nothing and cause nothing, save the expression of our own faiths.  With this in mind how is an Orthodox believer better prepared than a Roman Catholic to ask Jesus for mercy? Why does one need a spiritual guide to be able to say a prayer?  I am seeking to know your viewpoint and am in no way intending to be flippant.  I just don't understand.

Thank you,
William Unland

Honestly, it's because there's a two-fold aspect to the Jesus Prayer:

1) A short prayer. No different than any other short prayer (or set of them).

2) A meditative devotion that's under direction of a spiritual guide. It's believed that, without proper guidance and practice, one can fall victim to a number of things including prelest, etc. Similar to how not everyone should go and spend a year fasting in a cave without proper guidance, I suppose.

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2013, 07:29:29 AM »
With all respect, I am thoroughly confused.  I am a Roman Rite Catholic so perhaps you may enlighten me.  The "Jesus Prayer" is a prayer, nothing more.  How can it be dangerous for ANYONE to ask for mercy from Jesus?  

It seems to me that we are wandering into superstition if we attribute some great supernatural powers to a prayer, or spiritual exercise, or am I totally missing something here.

I know some in my own Church wander over the line into attributing "powers" to an action such as wearing a scapular.  This is superstition and NOT supported by Church teachings. Wearing a piece of cloth is nothing more than a sign of devotion, in and of itself it is nothing more than a symbol.  Some in my Church however believe that it is a "guarantee" of avoiding purgatory. If I am not misreading this thread, it seems that it is being suggested that the Jesus Prayer has some "special power" that we who are not initiated can't quite handle....if that is the viewpoint of the Orthodox I must admit that I just don't get it.  

To my mind. all of our spiritual exercises, prayers, and devotions are entreaties to God, and of themselves do nothing and cause nothing, save express our own faith and desire to improve our spiritual lives.

With this in mind I humbly ask: how is an Orthodox believer better prepared than a Roman Catholic to ask Jesus for mercy through the "Jesus Prayer"? Why does one need a spiritual guide to be able to say this prayer?

I am seeking to know your viewpoint and am in no way intending to be flippant.  I just don't understand.

Thank you,
William Unland

At the risk of provoking some here, I agree with you.

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2013, 10:53:44 AM »
The problem isn't Orthodox vs. Catholic, but rather level-headed vs. I-wanna-be-the-guy-in-The-Way-of-a-Pilgrim. If you don't overdo it then things are almost certainly going to be fine. Also, there are about 4.62 spiritual fathers in the world, so it's unlikely that you are having regular conversations with one about how your use of the Jesus Prayer is going.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 10:54:11 AM by Asteriktos »
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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2013, 11:19:48 AM »
The problem isn't Orthodox vs. Catholic, but rather level-headed vs. I-wanna-be-the-guy-in-The-Way-of-a-Pilgrim. If you don't overdo it then things are almost certainly going to be fine. Also, there are about 4.62 spiritual fathers in the world, so it's unlikely that you are having regular conversations with one about how your use of the Jesus Prayer is going.

+1

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2013, 02:32:16 PM »
I don't care what other people pray or how they pray, but if asked about what of my spiritual practices they can employ for themselves, I respond with this generally:  you are ______________(insert Christian confession here).  Is your own tradition so unfulfilling and/or incomplete that you need to borrow, in part or in whole, practices of other Christian confessions that otherwise you would write off, ignore or even condemn?  Practice cannot be divorced from the faith which produced it.  If you're willing to adopt this practice, why not go further and embrace the whole of the orthodox faith?

As for the Jesus Prayer, there is no other prayer more intertwined with the Orthodox faith, IMHO, than this.  You want to pray an Orthodox prayer, but you don't want to pray as an Orthodox Christian?  Non sequitur.
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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2013, 02:52:18 PM »
I don't care what other people pray or how they pray, but if asked about what of my spiritual practices they can employ for themselves, I respond with this generally:  you are ______________(insert Christian confession here).  Is your own tradition so unfulfilling and/or incomplete that you need to borrow, in part or in whole, practices of other Christian confessions that otherwise you would write off, ignore or even condemn?  Practice cannot be divorced from the faith which produced it.  If you're willing to adopt this practice, why not go further and embrace the whole of the orthodox faith?

As for the Jesus Prayer, there is no other prayer more intertwined with the Orthodox faith, IMHO, than this.  You want to pray an Orthodox prayer, but you don't want to pray as an Orthodox Christian?  Non sequitur.
"As for the Jesus Prayer, there is no other prayer more intertwined with the Orthodox faith, IMHO, than this.  You want to pray an Orthodox prayer, but you don't want to pray as an Orthodox Christian?  Non sequitur." 

Yes, although it is an exclusive Orthodox prayer, if other confessions want to use it, go for it.  Who knows, it may lead to future conversions.

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2013, 09:37:26 AM »
As for the Jesus Prayer, there is no other prayer more intertwined with the Orthodox faith, IMHO, than this.  You want to pray an Orthodox prayer, but you don't want to pray as an Orthodox Christian?  Non sequitur.

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2013, 09:43:26 AM »
I have read many posts on this forum which state that it is dangerous to pray the Jesus Prayer without the guidance of a spiritual father.

This got me wondering, what do the Orthodox think of Catholics (Byzantine, Oriental, or Latin) who pray the Jesus prayer? Do you believe it is spiritually dangerous for such people to pray this payer?

Not trying to start a fight over who is truly the true Church. I am just intellectually curious.

Thanks, and God bless.

The Jesus Prayer has a theology behind it that might not be compatible with Roman Catholic doctrine.
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Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
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Offline Papist

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2013, 10:31:49 AM »
I have read many posts on this forum which state that it is dangerous to pray the Jesus Prayer without the guidance of a spiritual father.

This got me wondering, what do the Orthodox think of Catholics (Byzantine, Oriental, or Latin) who pray the Jesus prayer? Do you believe it is spiritually dangerous for such people to pray this payer?

Not trying to start a fight over who is truly the true Church. I am just intellectually curious.

Thanks, and God bless.

The Jesus Prayer has a theology behind it that might not be compatible with Roman Catholic doctrine.
Now this is an interesting comment. Care to elaborate?
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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2013, 10:35:04 AM »
Occasionally some Orthodox will talk about the Jesus prayer like it is some kind of esoteric practice requiring "initiation" from an elder. This is plainly contrary to the classic writings about the Jesus prayer. I don't see how the prayer could do any harm in itself. Delusions can come in many forms and this shouldn't be blamed on the prayer.
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Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2013, 10:45:43 AM »
The Jesus Prayer has a theology behind it that might not be compatible with Roman Catholic doctrine.

From the Caechism of the Catholic Church:

2666 But the one name that contains everything is the one that the Son of God received in his incarnation: JESUS. The divine name may not be spoken by human lips, but by assuming our humanity The Word of God hands it over to us and we can invoke it: "Jesus," "YHWH saves."16 The name "Jesus" contains all: God and man and the whole economy of creation and salvation. To pray "Jesus" is to invoke him and to call him within us. His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies. Jesus is the Risen One, and whoever invokes the name of Jesus is welcoming the Son of God who loved him and who gave himself up for him.17

2667 This simple invocation of faith developed in the tradition of prayer under many forms in East and West. The most usual formulation, transmitted by the spiritual writers of the Sinai, Syria, and Mt. Athos, is the invocation, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners." It combines the Christological hymn of Philippians 2:6-11 with the cry of the publican and the blind men begging for light.18 By it the heart is opened to human wretchedness and the Savior's mercy.

2668 The invocation of the holy name of Jesus is the simplest way of praying always. When the holy name is repeated often by a humbly attentive heart, the prayer is not lost by heaping up empty phrases,19 but holds fast to the word and "brings forth fruit with patience."20 This prayer is possible "at all times" because it is not one occupation among others but the only occupation: that of loving God, which animates and transfigures every action in Christ Jesus
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2013, 10:54:16 AM »
I have mixed feelings regarding the territorial zeal some fellow Orthodox have regarding this matter. The Jesus Prayer has a unique role in Eastern Christian teaching, but it's plaintive intent is not unique to us. I suspect for as many saints and teachers who argue for its exclusivity, you would find others less inclined.

While we and the westerners differ on our views in some important manners, there is a commonality among us and the Romans which both of us, east and west, tend to look past.

For example, the Greek Metropolis of Atlanta offers these prayers of repentance:

"Prayers for Repentance - O God, my good and loving Lord, I acknowledge all the sins which I have committed every day in my life, whether in thought, word or deed. I ask for forgiveness from the depths of my heart for offending You and others and repent of my old ways. Help me by Your grace to change, to sin no more and to walk in the way of righteousness and to praise and glorify Your Name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

O Lord my God, I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word and deed. I have also omitted to do what Your holy law requires of me. But now with repentance and contrition I turn again to Your love and mercy. I entreat You to forgive me all my transgressions and to cleanse me from all my sins. Lord, fill my heart with the light of Your truth. Strengthen my will by Your grace. Teach me both to desire and to do only what pleases You. Amen. " http://www.orthodoxprayer.org/OtherPrayers.html

Roman Catholics approach reconciliation/confession with this simple prayer:

"O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life." http://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=208

In each example, the penitent approaches the mystery from basically the same starting point, that is an open acknowledgement of sinfulness and a sincere desire to lead a life in accord with God's will.

I am simplifying of course, but each acknowledges God, seeks His forgiveness and pledges to do better.

These sentiments are not at odds and are reflective of the Jesus Prayer, "Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner."

In the end, the answer is not a simple one, but rests with the spiritual intent of the individual. After all, the misuse of the prayer may be be dangerous to the spiritual health of an Orthodox Christian as well.


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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2013, 10:56:28 AM »
I have read many posts on this forum which state that it is dangerous to pray the Jesus Prayer without the guidance of a spiritual father.

This got me wondering, what do the Orthodox think of Catholics (Byzantine, Oriental, or Latin) who pray the Jesus prayer? Do you believe it is spiritually dangerous for such people to pray this payer?

Not trying to start a fight over who is truly the true Church. I am just intellectually curious.

Thanks, and God bless.

The Jesus Prayer has a theology behind it that might not be compatible with Roman Catholic doctrine.
Now this is an interesting comment. Care to elaborate?

The Jesus Prayer is very much connected with Hesychasm. All those RC books written before VII which mentioned Hesychasm condemned it as heretical.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 10:58:14 AM by Cyrillic »
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Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2013, 11:31:32 AM »
I have read many posts on this forum which state that it is dangerous to pray the Jesus Prayer without the guidance of a spiritual father.

This got me wondering, what do the Orthodox think of Catholics (Byzantine, Oriental, or Latin) who pray the Jesus prayer? Do you believe it is spiritually dangerous for such people to pray this payer?

Not trying to start a fight over who is truly the true Church. I am just intellectually curious.

Thanks, and God bless.

The Jesus Prayer has a theology behind it that might not be compatible with Roman Catholic doctrine.
Now this is an interesting comment. Care to elaborate?

The Jesus Prayer is very much connected with Hesychasm. All those RC books written before VII which mentioned Hesychasm condemned it as heretical.
Because they mistakenly associated it with the western heresy of quietism, not because they actually understood it.  
« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 11:31:48 AM by Deacon Lance »
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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2013, 12:01:53 PM »
I have read many posts on this forum which state that it is dangerous to pray the Jesus Prayer without the guidance of a spiritual father.

This got me wondering, what do the Orthodox think of Catholics (Byzantine, Oriental, or Latin) who pray the Jesus prayer? Do you believe it is spiritually dangerous for such people to pray this payer?

Not trying to start a fight over who is truly the true Church. I am just intellectually curious.

Thanks, and God bless.

The Jesus Prayer has a theology behind it that might not be compatible with Roman Catholic doctrine.
Now this is an interesting comment. Care to elaborate?

The Jesus Prayer is very much connected with Hesychasm. All those RC books written before VII which mentioned Hesychasm condemned it as heretical.
Because they mistakenly associated it with the western heresy of quietism, not because they actually understood it.  

There are polemicists in abundance from both sides of the schism who were certainly sincere in their Faith but who were and are so full of either anger or triumphalism that they have been unable to articulate distinctions between wheat and chaff. That which we share we need to recognize so that the real issues of division are made more apparent and more understandable.

Offline Nephi

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2013, 12:08:29 PM »
The Jesus Prayer is very much connected with Hesychasm. All those RC books written before VII which mentioned Hesychasm condemned it as heretical.
Because they mistakenly associated it with the western heresy of quietism, not because they actually understood it.  

How do hesychasm and quietism differ? The very brief descriptions of quietism I've seen don't seem all that objectionable.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 12:13:35 PM by Nephi »

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2013, 12:09:50 PM »
There is nothing inherent in the Jesus Prayer itself that is dangerous. The danger, according to the Fathers, is when anyone seeks to practice "prayer of the heart" for extended periods of time, because you are opening yourself up to the spiritual realm where not every being is benevolent. Demons presenting themselves as angels of light, and all that. If you aren't knowledgeable about these very real circumstances, preferably under the instruction of someone who is, then real harm can happen. Some monks have literally lost their minds, so the writings say.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 12:10:02 PM by Sleeper »

Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2013, 01:20:02 PM »
The Jesus Prayer is very much connected with Hesychasm. All those RC books written before VII which mentioned Hesychasm condemned it as heretical.
Because they mistakenly associated it with the western heresy of quietism, not because they actually understood it.  

How do hesychasm and quietism differ? The very brief descriptions of quietism I've seen don't seem all that objectionable.

In the West the Quietists (and there were several incarnations) tended toward Gnosticism eschewing the need for fasting or litugical prayer or the Church in general, things that never affected Hesychasm.
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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2013, 01:21:14 PM »
The Roman Catholics objected to the hesychasts because they thought the hesychasts rejected the sacraments? I'm not buying that one.
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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2013, 01:26:51 PM »
The Roman Catholics objected to the hesychasts because they thought the hesychasts rejected the sacraments? I'm not buying that one.

Yeah, that does sound a little off. The Roman Catholics have some monastics who practice a life of silence as well.
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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2013, 01:48:46 PM »
The Roman Catholics objected to the hesychasts because they thought the hesychasts rejected the sacraments? I'm not buying that one.
I didn't say that.  I was asked how they differed.  How they were similar was both believed the vision of the divine could be gained here on earth.  The quietists tended to proclaim that doing this meant one was sinless and perfect, hence the lack of need for liturgy, fasting, etc.  Hesychasm suffered from a guilt by association.  Many in the West did not undrstand the essence/energy distinction either.  Heychasm, however, was never condemned by a council in the West and many Western mystics came close to the same teachings, like St John of God and St Teresa of Avila.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2013, 02:33:25 PM »
St John of God or St John of the Cross?  I thought the former was more known for his work with the sick...
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Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2013, 02:37:24 PM »
St John of God or St John of the Cross?  I thought the former was more known for his work with the sick...
Whoops.  Yes, St John of the Cross.  Thanks for the catch.
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Offline Papist

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #32 on: July 04, 2013, 02:56:23 PM »
The Roman Catholics objected to the hesychasts because they thought the hesychasts rejected the sacraments? I'm not buying that one.
I've never heard this charge against the hesychasts. The biggest complaint that I have heard from some Latins is that the Hesychasts compromise the doctrine of divine simplicity with the essence/existence distinction. I disagree with these Latin critics, but that is the only criticism I have ever heard.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 02:56:47 PM by Papist »
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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2013, 03:01:07 PM »
like St John of God and St Teresa of Avila.
Yes, quite a bit of what these saints write reminds me of Eastern Catholic Spirituality, yet with a scholastic tint.
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Offline Sinful Hypocrite

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #34 on: July 04, 2013, 07:38:28 PM »
As always God sees what motivates your prayer, whatever form it takes, so it is not the Jesus prayer that is dangerous, it is the other things that one uses it for, other than simply asking for Gods mercy from what I gather here.

Praying is always good , and God will grant your requests when they are what you need.

Please keep saying Jesus Christ , son of God , have mercy on us all.
The Lord gathers his sheep, I fear I am a goat. Lord have mercy.

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Offline Peter J

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #35 on: July 05, 2013, 10:47:58 PM »
I think nothing.

Oh, are we talking about that kind of Eastern meditation?


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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #36 on: July 10, 2013, 04:28:31 PM »
The polemic-filled entry for hesychasm in the old Catholic Encyclopedia (it is not worth linking to) makes it out to be just another eastern auto-suggestion technique for having "mystical experiences".

My guess is that is why a spiritual father is needed, to avoid false sightings of the uncreated light leading to delusions.
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #37 on: July 11, 2013, 06:01:57 AM »
This got me wondering, what do the Orthodox think of Catholics (Byzantine, Oriental, or Latin) who pray the Jesus prayer?

(emphasis added)

I think this way of asking it makes more sense than the thread title, which lumps together Catholics who pray the Jesus prayer.
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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #38 on: July 12, 2013, 07:03:20 PM »
There are Greek Orthodox monks who say the Jesus prayer all their lives hundreds of times every day. Prayer is to God no matter what christian denomination, God is listening.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2013, 07:04:27 PM by Sinful Hypocrite »
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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #39 on: July 12, 2013, 07:28:56 PM »
FWIW, they taught kids the Jesus Prayer way back in my Roman Catholic Middle School.

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #40 on: July 12, 2013, 10:19:39 PM »
My very Catholic and definitely non-Orthodox grandmother had a little booklet called "The Name of Jesus", all about the benefits of devoutly repeating the name of "Jesus" as a prayer (to make reparation for all the times people use "Jesus" as a swear word). I remember it also said you could say, "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me".

That was my first encounter with what I later learned was called "The Jesus Prayer" in Orthodoxy. But it definitely has a history in Catholicism as well.

After all, folks, it IS in the Bible ...    8)
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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #41 on: July 13, 2013, 02:15:09 AM »
FWIW, they taught kids the Jesus Prayer way back in my Roman Catholic Middle School.

It was in my religion class around the time of junior high. :)
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Catholics Praying the Jesus Prayer
« Reply #42 on: July 13, 2013, 09:25:59 AM »
My very Catholic and definitely non-Orthodox grandmother had a little booklet called "The Name of Jesus",

I think Fr. Mike Scanlan also wrote a book along those lines. (I could be mis-remembering; it's been a while.)
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