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Offline Justin Kissel

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Vain Repetitions
« on: February 02, 2005, 03:15:23 PM »
In Orthodoxy we sometimes do things like say "Lord Have Mercy" 40 times. In most churches I've been in, they jumble the words together to the point where it sounds like one big long humming sound or something. Is this vain and repetitive? If not, why not? None of the standard apologetics about why Orthodox/Catholic prayers are not vain repetitions seem to apply here. ???

Offline idontlikenames

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2005, 03:26:05 PM »
Well, even an Evangelical/Fundamentalist would encourage you to pray for something every day (Parable of the widow and the unjust judge, etc.).  If you can pray the same prayer every 24 hours, then why not every 20 hours, then why not every 5 hours, then why not every 5 minutes, seconds, etc., etc....?  Where does one draw the line between being "vain and repetitious" and just being "persistent"?  Any line becomes quite arbitrary.
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Offline Twenty Nine

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2005, 03:30:44 PM »
Hi Justin --

I have thought about this also. I once visited a church where the 40 Lord Have Mercy were said very, very quickly. On the surface it seems pretty ridiculous: saying Lord Have Mercy as fast as possible without seeming to really mean it.

On the other hand, there is a liturgical rhythm to it, just like the rest of the prayers that we pray. Also, when we beg for forgiveness or mercy from someone, we tend to ask quickly and repeatedly.

Just some thoughts.

Gregory
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Offline Fr. David

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2005, 03:34:41 PM »
I actually like the 40 reps.  It sort of feels like one reeeeeeeeeally long "Lord have mercy."  Gets me in the groove of it.

Someone did, though, ask me this quesiton once.  I just said that I pray 33 Jesus Prayers--I guess the 40 LHMs could be subbed here--because I only really start to mean it around number 27 or so.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2005, 07:48:26 PM »
It's one thing to repeat "Kyrie eleison" forty times.  This can be done in a way that is not slow, paced, and rhythmic.  What Paradosis is describing ("one big long humming sound") is, IMO, doing it just for the sake of doing it, to get it over with so that we can go to the next part of the Liturgy.  I've heard it, and it's annoying to say the least.  Better to cut it down and mean it than to do it so fast that you mock God (whether or not this is the intention, this is what it does, IMO). 
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2005, 02:08:31 AM »
I appreciate what you guys are saying. Unfortunately (as with Mor Ephrem), I still find myself having difficulty with it.

Offline icxn

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2005, 08:19:32 AM »
The vanity is not in the repetition but in what and in what manner is repeated.

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2005, 10:29:57 AM »
I see where Paradosis is coming from.  There are lots of times where I feel exactly how he's describing he feels, that the repetitive LHM becomes just one long "hummmmmmmm".  I prefer the LHM with a prostration each time, as it forces you to stop and "mean it", so to speak, because of the physical action involved.  I find I "mean it" by the third or fourth one from the beginning, as opposed to the third or fourth one from the end.

But that's just me.
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Offline Elisha

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2005, 01:07:59 PM »
[shameless plug]http://orthotracts.org/music/25Track25.wma[/shameless plug]

« Last Edit: February 04, 2005, 01:08:25 PM by Elisha »

Offline Fr. David

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2005, 03:01:49 PM »
Hmm...yeah, I can definitely see the point you're making, Paradosis...it's one thing to repeat...quite another to repeat with no apparent sincerety or deliberateness...
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Offline Donna Rose

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2005, 07:44:40 PM »
i think, for me, the way i battle this difficulty is to listen very very closely to the words. this forces me to pray along, so to speak, even if only in my head (i.e. w/o speech). if the words are utterly inaudible, i usually then say em on my own at my own pace (often w/ a prayer rope of my own) until the next part of the service comes, much like Phil says: better to say less of em and mean em than to say the full 40 as an unintelligible mush. but if it is even remotely audible, then i like to keep pace because, as Pedro said, it puts one's (my) mind into a rhythm (getting into "the groove" hehe) that becomes fruitful for prayer, if that makes sense.
hmmmm...

Offline observer

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2005, 10:05:54 PM »
  Of course we should pray with understanding, but often this means according to human logic and not understanding with the heart. I find the rapid repetition not vain but helpful.  I prefer rapidity to its extreme opposite - lugubriousness.
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2005, 02:38:38 AM »
What about Way of a Pilgrim? He says the Jesus Prayer 3,000 times!
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Offline Tallitot

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2005, 03:12:45 AM »
What about saying the 40 LHM's during vespers in diff languages, and/or splitting them between more then one person? At my parish we rotate the 40 between 4 of us, sometimes one will use English, one Greek , one Slavonic, one Spanish. Helps keep it form becoming monotonous.                         
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Offline Fr. David

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2005, 08:49:14 AM »
What about saying the 40 LHM's during vespers in diff languages, and/or splitting them between more then one person? At my parish we rotate the 40 between 4 of us, sometimes one will use English, one Greek , one Slavonic, one Spanish. Helps keep it form becoming monotonous.

Spanish?!  Hey, cool! :thumbsup:  Where do you attend?
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Offline choirfiend

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2005, 06:31:17 PM »
Which link on the tracts page is that file, Elisha?
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Offline Orthodoxy

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2005, 09:07:27 PM »
In Orthodoxy we sometimes do things like say "Lord Have Mercy" 40 times. In most churches I've been in, they jumble the words together to the point where it sounds like one big long humming sound or something. Is this vain and repetitive? If not, why not? None of the standard apologetics about why Orthodox/Catholic prayers are not vain repetitions seem to apply here. ???

The issue is "vain" repetition not repetition. It is the reformist prayer to change everyone else to their version of Jesus Christ that is vain repetition. The prayer that say "Lord I need $50" or "Lord My SUV wont start" those are vain. The prayer of the pharisee seen in the heterodox world that says " Lord please help this guy over there to see things my way". That is vain repetition.

Asking God to be merciful is not vain repetition certainly not in the Orthodox Church where we pray for all mankind then say Lord have mercy 40 lousy times!

Think about this my brothers and sisters in Christ. The Orthodox prayer of "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner" is all one will be able to say at the judgement seat. No excuses. No Complaint. Just God have mercy on me a sinner. It is practice for the eternal event.

Lord have mercy

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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2005, 12:03:08 AM »
Think about this my brothers and sisters in Christ. The Orthodox prayer of "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner" is all one will be able to say at the judgement seat. No excuses. No Complaint. Just God have mercy on me a sinner. It is practice for the eternal event.

Yeah, but you won't be saying it so fast even He can't make sense of it.  :P 
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Offline Ian Lazarus

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2005, 12:14:52 AM »
Quote
Think about this my brothers and sisters in Christ. The Orthodox prayer of "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner" is all one will be able to say at the judgement seat. No excuses. No Complaint. Just God have mercy on me a sinner. It is practice for the eternal event.

It is why its called "the prayer of the heart".  It is to stick to you until it becomes part of your inner being, like breath, so you dont go without asking for mercy a single second of the day.  "For we sinners devoid of all defesnse entreat thy rich mercy"

May God have mercy and save us all.

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Offline maximus

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2005, 01:46:57 AM »
In Orthodoxy we sometimes do things like say "Lord Have Mercy" 40 times. In most churches I've been in, they jumble the words together to the point where it sounds like one big long humming sound or something. Is this vain and repetitive? If not, why not? None of the standard apologetics about why Orthodox/Catholic prayers are not vain repetitions seem to apply here. ???

I don't know about people jumbling up the words, but something can only be vain repetition if there's no significant purpose in the repetition. However, I don't think that's the case in a 40x 'Lord Have Mercy'.

Usually the number forty is symbolic of time spent in the wilderness (Israel, Jesus), and I think that's the case here. I suppose there are different forms of significance you could derive from the number. Possibly, though, it would make sense to think of it as a recognition of our alienation in a worldly wilderness apart from God. Then the forty-fold repetition of 'Lord Have Mercy', together with signifying what 'Lord Have Mercy' signifies normally, here designates our corporate and individual intention, desire and prayer to remain faithful to God through and to the end of the time of the wilderness of our present life.

M

Offline stanley123

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2011, 11:02:12 PM »
In Orthodoxy we sometimes do things like say "Lord Have Mercy" 40 times. In most churches I've been in, they jumble the words together to the point where it sounds like one big long humming sound or something. Is this vain and repetitive? If not, why not? None of the standard apologetics about why Orthodox/Catholic prayers are not vain repetitions seem to apply here. ???
Maybe it qualifies as a repetition but it is not vain and the prayer is not in vain.

Offline zekarja

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2011, 11:48:04 PM »
He is what St John Chrysostom says on this topic:

...by this topic He dissuades them; calling frivolousness, here, by the name of “vain repetition:” as when we ask of God things unsuitable, kingdoms, and glory, and to get the better of enemies, and abundance of wealth, and in general what does not at all concern us. “For He knoweth,” saith He, “what things ye have need of.” And herewith He seems to me to command in this place, that neither should we make our prayers long; long, I mean, not in time, but in the number and length of the things mentioned. For perseverance indeed in the same requests is our duty: His word being, “continuing instant in prayer.” [...] “For He knoweth,” saith He, “what things ye have need of.” And if He know, one may say, what we have need of, wherefore must we pray? Not to instruct Him, but to prevail with Him; to be made intimate with Him, by continuance in supplication; to be humbled; to be reminded of thy sins.
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Offline Seraphim98

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2011, 12:58:43 AM »
The problem, insofar as there is a problem is either with the one praying or the one listening…or both.

Of course the words should really mean something…but if they don't is that the fault of the words, or of the one praying.

We must remember not everyone is at the same place on the path of prayer as others.

We all begin with but the prayer of our lips…not much but something.

As Elder Cleopas said, there is still prayer of the mind and prayer of the heart, each leading to the next.

If we ourselves are enrobed in the prayer meaningfully, knowing the words ourselves, knowing what they point to ourselves, then the "hum" of another's mere prayer of the lips should not distract us from our deeper and richer prayer. 

And if not, then we can accuse ourselves and beg mercy on the one who reads. "Lord have mercy on me a sinner. Lord have mercy on Thy servant"…and lo and behold, we mean it this time. We have not prayed vainly…at least once. And even the dear humming reader is not forgotten, for his manner of prayer opened our eyes to our own need of repentance, and he will not lose his reward either.

Offline William

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2011, 01:02:52 AM »
Is this passage applicable to the topic of repetition in prayer?

Quote
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’”
Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 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. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2011, 05:22:37 PM »
Vain repetions are when you pray by rote and not by meaning----do you really mean "lord have mercy" on the prayers being read, if so you are not quilty of vain repetitons---if you do not mean it then you may be guilty of vain repetions.

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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2011, 06:04:11 PM »
Vain repetions are when you pray by rote and not by meaning----do you really mean "lord have mercy" on the prayers being read, if so you are not quilty of vain repetitons---if you do not mean it then you may be guilty of vain repetions.

Thomas
I don't think humans have the cognitive swiftness to rattle off 40 prayers in rapid succession "meaning it" each time. Unless I misunderstand the sincerity requirement.

Offline Seraphim98

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2011, 06:11:55 PM »
Is it possible to say "thank you" many times in a row and really mean it…say if some guy risked his life to pull your kid out of a raging wildfire safe and sound? How many "thank yous" are contained in the choked silence when words fail?

Words enrobe the prayer…give it aural expression. They do not constitute it or define it.  
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 06:31:33 PM by Seraphim98 »

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2011, 06:28:04 PM »
Good point.

There's actually a modern Protestant tune that contains like 30 repetitions of "Yes Lord." Though I'm no friend of CCM, that one always "clicked" with me, I just now recalled it.

Offline biro

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2011, 08:15:04 PM »
I think the qualifier is very important. Note the adjective "vain." If one prays in a pointless way, or to inflate one's sense of self, then it's vain. However, if a person prays sincerely, the same words don't hurt. Not to be melodramatic, but I was in an accident once, and I remember praying while the emergency techs came to help me: "God help me, God help me..." I hope the Lord would not reject that prayer simply because I was too scared to think up different words.

Offline Matthew79

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2013, 07:49:19 PM »
As a Protestant, I know a lot of people who babble on, not really saying anything, I've been guilty of this stuff myself. We say things like "Jesus just" or "Father just" or "Father God we pray", literally, every other word. We pray this way mostly because someone in the group called on us to pray and we really didn't want to or we are going around the circle and it is our turn and the guy before just offered this really amazing, heartfelt prayer and we don't want to look un-spiritual. Either that or I've seen the common prayers of venting or complaining about our problems or bringing a long list of wants because we think we are "being real" with God.... and we don't even realize we're being just like Martha.... Or another thing I see quite a bit is the pastor using the prayer time to not really pray to God, at all, but to launch into another mini-sermon.

…. So it seems, whether it is a vain repetition depends not on the prayer itself, but on the one praying it. Don’t babble on when you really have nothing to say, but don’t drone on with, for example, the Jesus Prayer while you are mentally going through your daily planner. It seems that the recommendation has been to not stop prayers like the Jesus Prayer because we don't mean it, but continue to fight against the flesh that constantly wants to wander to other thoughts.

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2013, 07:52:45 PM »
As a Protestant, I know a lot of people who babble on, not really saying anything, I've been guilty of this stuff myself. We say things like "Jesus just" or "Father just" or "Father God we pray", literally, every other word. We pray this way mostly because someone in the group called on us to pray and we really didn't want to or we are going around the circle and it is our turn and the guy before just offered this really amazing, heartfelt prayer and we don't want to look un-spiritual. Either that or I've seen the common prayers of venting or complaining about our problems or bringing a long list of wants because we think we are "being real" with God.... and we don't even realize we're being just like Martha.... Or another thing I see quite a bit is the pastor using the prayer time to not really pray to God, at all, but to launch into another mini-sermon.

…. So it seems, whether it is a vain repetition depends not on the prayer itself, but on the one praying it. Don’t babble on when you really have nothing to say, but don’t drone on with, for example, the Jesus Prayer while you are mentally going through your daily planner. It seems that the recommendation has been to not stop prayers like the Jesus Prayer because we don't mean it, but continue to fight against the flesh that constantly wants to wander to other thoughts.

I just posted something from SJ Karl Rahner which I think would apply to this subject:

Do you really think so?

Isn't it hypocritical to say something which you don't believe?


I go back and forth.  On the one hand, I would agree that it makes no sense to say something which you don't believe.  On the other hand, sometimes it is the maintenance of that "empty formula" that allows for growth in understanding.  Maybe I don't believe enough to recite meaningfully the Creed, but if my solution to that is to get rid of the Creed, eventually I may forget God altogether.  But if that formula is kept, it may be enough to spark the flame of faith later. 

Similarly, with prayer, we don't cease reciting our prayer rule when we don't feel "holy" or "sincere"; we struggle to pray anyway, even if it is just "lip service", because that itself is a form of worship, even if it is the lowest form (purely of the body), and that's better than nothing.  It's not sufficient, but it's better than nothing.   

Regarding the motto "In God We Trust", we can argue that without actually doing it, the motto is meaningless.  But unless there's some grand, foolproof scheme to convert everyone to the faith, the "solution" is going to be to get rid of the motto gradually.  Which is better: to let or make God disappear in order to maintain some odd notion of "integrity", or to suffer with a bit of hypocrisy but keep enough of God around to hope for a conversion of heart further down the line?   

My memory is fading but I think someone was once sorta mocking SJ Karl Rahner about his nearly ceaseless use of the Rosary. They asked if we really was praying the words we was saying all the time.

He replied something like this: "If my . . . oh forget it, let's see what google says:

Quote
Oh, everyday prayer! You are poor and a little tattered and the worse for wear like the everyday itself. August thoughts and exalted feelings are difficult for you. You are not an exalted symphony in a great cathedral, but more like a devout song, well-intended and coming from the heart, a little monotonous and naive. But, prayer of the everyday, you are the prayer of loyalty and reliability, the prayer of selfless, unrewarded service to the divine majesty, you are the dedication which makes the gray hours light and the trivial moments great. You don't ask about the experience of the one praying, but about the honor of God. You don't want to experience something; you want to believe. Your gait may sometimes be weary, but you still walk. Sometimes you may appear to come just from the lips and not from the heart. But isn't it better that at least the lips are blessing God than when the entire human being becomes mute? And isn't there more hope then that the sound from the lips will find an echo in the heart than when everything in man remains mute? And in our prayer-poor times, what one chides oneself or others for as lip-prayer is most often in reality the prayer of a poor but loyal heart that honestly, in spite of all weakness, weariness, and inner discontent, is at least continuing to dig a small shaft through which a small ray of the eternal light falls into the heart that is buried by the everyday.

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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2013, 07:53:29 PM »
What's vain about it?
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Offline Matthew79

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2013, 08:02:01 PM »
What's vain about it?

Who are you asking? You didn't quote anyone, I'm a little confused  ???

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2013, 08:04:21 PM »
What's vain about it?

Who are you asking? You didn't quote anyone, I'm a little confused  ???

Whoever is willing to answer.  :P
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 08:04:38 PM by xOrthodox4Christx »
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Offline Matthew79

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2013, 08:13:31 PM »

Quote
Oh, everyday prayer! You are poor and a little tattered and the worse for wear like the everyday itself. August thoughts and exalted feelings are difficult for you. You are not an exalted symphony in a great cathedral, but more like a devout song, well-intended and coming from the heart, a little monotonous and naive. But, prayer of the everyday, you are the prayer of loyalty and reliability, the prayer of selfless, unrewarded service to the divine majesty, you are the dedication which makes the gray hours light and the trivial moments great. You don't ask about the experience of the one praying, but about the honor of God. You don't want to experience something; you want to believe. Your gait may sometimes be weary, but you still walk. Sometimes you may appear to come just from the lips and not from the heart. But isn't it better that at least the lips are blessing God than when the entire human being becomes mute? And isn't there more hope then that the sound from the lips will find an echo in the heart than when everything in man remains mute? And in our prayer-poor times, what one chides oneself or others for as lip-prayer is most often in reality the prayer of a poor but loyal heart that honestly, in spite of all weakness, weariness, and inner discontent, is at least continuing to dig a small shaft through which a small ray of the eternal light falls into the heart that is buried by the everyday.

http://books.google.com/books?id=vkq9dPPW3TAC&pg=PA42
[/quote]

Thanks! I like this last paragraph here. I am currently reading The Way of a Pilgrim and it is also saying what I was trying to say- that we shouldn't stop the Jesus Prayer because it is merely lip service, but continue and keep trying to re-direct our minds and hearts until we are fully present with it.

Offline Matthew79

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2013, 08:38:11 PM »
I read that quote again... Forgive me if I sound too harsh or critical towards my Protestant brothers. That is probably me being more critical of myself than anyone, because I have prayed for all those reasons. Sometimes we just don't know what or how to pray and we are struggling to find the words that will do justice to how we feel. I have also prayed those ways for this reason. But I am learning there is something to be said for being thoughtful about our prayers and considering beforehand, in detail, how or what we should pray. Most of the time my prayers are off the top of my head and however I feel at the time.

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #36 on: October 25, 2013, 08:51:09 PM »
I read that quote again... Forgive me if I sound too harsh or critical towards my Protestant brothers. That is probably me being more critical of myself than anyone, because I have prayed for all those reasons. Sometimes we just don't know what or how to pray and we are struggling to find the words that will do justice to how we feel. I have also prayed those ways for this reason. But I am learning there is something to be said for being thoughtful about our prayers and considering beforehand, in detail, how or what we should pray. Most of the time my prayers are off the top of my head and however I feel at the time.

Quote
“Pray then in this way:

9 Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
10     Your kingdom come.
    Your will be done,
        on earth as it is in heaven.
11     Give us this day our daily bread.
12     And forgive us our debts,
        as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13     And do not bring us to the time of trial,
        but rescue us from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 08:51:35 PM by xOrthodox4Christx »
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Offline Matthew79

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #37 on: October 25, 2013, 09:01:38 PM »

Quote
“Pray then in this way:

9 Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
10     Your kingdom come.
    Your will be done,
        on earth as it is in heaven.
11     Give us this day our daily bread.
12     And forgive us our debts,
        as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13     And do not bring us to the time of trial,
        but rescue us from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13

Yes, thank you. This is a well known prayer, even where I grew up. But even this one many evangelicals are weary of praying this word for word. We usually try to use this prayer as mostly a model for how to pray, rather than as a specific prayer itself. I have been praying these words much more frequently lately, because I know the words, it is one of the only times I can confidently jump in during Divine Liturgy and pray with everyone :)

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #38 on: October 25, 2013, 09:17:10 PM »

Quote
“Pray then in this way:

9 Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
10     Your kingdom come.
    Your will be done,
        on earth as it is in heaven.
11     Give us this day our daily bread.
12     And forgive us our debts,
        as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13     And do not bring us to the time of trial,
        but rescue us from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13

Yes, thank you. This is a well known prayer, even where I grew up. But even this one many evangelicals are weary of praying this word for word. We usually try to use this prayer as mostly a model for how to pray, rather than as a specific prayer itself. I have been praying these words much more frequently lately, because I know the words, it is one of the only times I can confidently jump in during Divine Liturgy and pray with everyone :)

When I was an Evangelical, I only prayed when I was being 'lead in prayer' which was not very often. If it's Sola Fide there's no point to praying. All you need is 'faith.'
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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2013, 09:39:31 PM »
It has similarity to doing your cross real fast and jumbled, which I remember our GO priest in the 70s made a issue of to the youth groups as being vain and disrespectful.

Our current priest when doing the LHM reps is very clear spoken, with rhythm, but that is him by himself, if it were the whole parish together it is probably impossible to keep it from blurring into a mess.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #40 on: October 25, 2013, 10:11:10 PM »

Quote
Oh, everyday prayer! You are poor and a little tattered and the worse for wear like the everyday itself. August thoughts and exalted feelings are difficult for you. You are not an exalted symphony in a great cathedral, but more like a devout song, well-intended and coming from the heart, a little monotonous and naive. But, prayer of the everyday, you are the prayer of loyalty and reliability, the prayer of selfless, unrewarded service to the divine majesty, you are the dedication which makes the gray hours light and the trivial moments great. You don't ask about the experience of the one praying, but about the honor of God. You don't want to experience something; you want to believe. Your gait may sometimes be weary, but you still walk. Sometimes you may appear to come just from the lips and not from the heart. But isn't it better that at least the lips are blessing God than when the entire human being becomes mute? And isn't there more hope then that the sound from the lips will find an echo in the heart than when everything in man remains mute? And in our prayer-poor times, what one chides oneself or others for as lip-prayer is most often in reality the prayer of a poor but loyal heart that honestly, in spite of all weakness, weariness, and inner discontent, is at least continuing to dig a small shaft through which a small ray of the eternal light falls into the heart that is buried by the everyday.

http://books.google.com/books?id=vkq9dPPW3TAC&pg=PA42

Thanks! I like this last paragraph here. I am currently reading The Way of a Pilgrim and it is also saying what I was trying to say- that we shouldn't stop the Jesus Prayer because it is merely lip service, but continue and keep trying to re-direct our minds and hearts until we are fully present with it.
[/quote]

Matthew, for some reason, I thought I read in your info that were an RC. I thought I would SJ Rahner's words with you as the seem to me to capture the spirit of Orthodoxy though and practice.

I apologize to the mods for quoting the heterodox in this section. Again I thought it was apropos.
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Offline Matthew79

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #41 on: October 26, 2013, 09:30:45 PM »

Matthew, for some reason, I thought I read in your info that were an RC. I thought I would SJ Rahner's words with you as the seem to me to capture the spirit of Orthodoxy though and practice.

I apologize to the mods for quoting the heterodox in this section. Again I thought it was apropos.

Ah, yes. I just updated the info on my background and I think what I had was I started out by studying RC, but was never able to fully except it and have began seeking out Orthodoxy. If you thought Rahner captured the spirit of Orthodox thought and practice, why would it be considered heterodox?

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #42 on: October 26, 2013, 09:52:05 PM »

Matthew, for some reason, I thought I read in your info that were an RC. I thought I would SJ Rahner's words with you as the seem to me to capture the spirit of Orthodoxy though and practice.

I apologize to the mods for quoting the heterodox in this section. Again I thought it was apropos.

Ah, yes. I just updated the info on my background and I think what I had was I started out by studying RC, but was never able to fully except it and have began seeking out Orthodoxy. If you thought Rahner captured the spirit of Orthodox thought and practice, why would it be considered heterodox?

I meant the rules here are a little more strict about posting the Church's stance. SJ Rahner is heterodox AND I think the words I quoted fit fine with Orthodoxy. And since I had saw the comment about the RCC in your profile, I thought you might find extra solace in the words of a Catholic Priest.

They stuck with me when I read them and I wasn't reading SJ Rahner at the time (decades ago?) for any "religious" reason.

Anyway, I am glad you found them edifying.
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Offline Matthew79

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #43 on: October 26, 2013, 10:06:50 PM »

When I was an Evangelical, I only prayed when I was being 'lead in prayer' which was not very often. If it's Sola Fide there's no point to praying. All you need is 'faith.'

Hmmm, that's weird. What church were you a member of? I haven't really heard that before. In my experience, personal prayer and devotions has always been a very high importance to living a Spirit-filled, Godly life. The reason I didn't really like praying in a group was either because I was feeling a bit too self-conscious at the time or because I am usually one of the last to pray and all the requests have been covered already and I don't know what else to say. Sola Fide has certainly been a major tenet for many Protestants, but I've always been taught that prayer is necessary to activate our faith. They go together.

Offline Matthew79

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Re: Vain Repetitions
« Reply #44 on: October 26, 2013, 10:15:23 PM »

It has similarity to doing your cross real fast and jumbled, which I remember our GO priest in the 70s made a issue of to the youth groups as being vain and disrespectful.


I hear that! ;D I graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the joke around campus was that the Youth Ministry major doesn't teach you anything except how to play games and order pizza. At times, a lot of students were discontent with the depth of education they were receiving. Not to say the seminary was totally shallow and never centered on Christ, but they too often get caught up on being cool and progressive.