Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia on the Jesus Prayer
Gitta Mallasz: Jump into the Unknown: Fatal Modesty
I know a modest, sober man, who I respect very much. He is now in the middle of his life cycle and has lived through many internal and external tests in a responsible way without ever making a number out of it. Short Čtime ago something unexpected happened to him. It shook him so much that he forgot his caution and told meČ:
"I was in big trouble, which took all my energy to such an extent that I became tired, lost my voice and could not even whisper. I was forced to remain in a relatively calm state to find a possible way out of the problems. Suddenly, I heard with amazing clarity a powerful inner voice: `You do not ask! Pray! You can ask for EVERYTHING!
'I was deeply shocked, because I knew that my angel was talking to me, and I felt guilty for not asking, but could not respond. Then the inner voice repeated with even greater urgency: `You can ask for ALL. for EVERYTHING!'
I remained as if frozen. Dumb."
There are reliable indicators of a real encounter with an angel. These show up in my experience, rarely in an immediate compliance with the request, but among other things include a total lack of romance, in the naturalness of the miraculous. The experience of my friend testifies this. In spite of this, the story of his real experience was mainly sad, like a missed opportunity. A noble person person with life experience finally meets his angel, who reveals to him the dignity of man as a possible intercessor for the whole of creation; when he becomes conscious, he could ask for ALL and for EVERYTHING, but he does not yet do so. And how did he react? He did not feel elevated, but "guilty" and depressed.
How was this possible?
In a discussion it turned out that he himself never trusted this dignity, but blamed himself. This is mostly an unconscious factor, although in many of us quite effective: it is the fatal inheritance of the guilt in humanity for the last 2000 years, not only for my friend, but many of us. He had - unconsciously - become similar to a worm, crawling around in the mud of his alleged sinfulness.
But the angels expect from us the royal dignity of a responsibly and active human being on earth. They stand behind floodgates of powerful currents of healing and wait with trembling impatience for our call pleading to open them. We, the four friends, lived in a time of great destruction and experienced again and again, how new invigorating healing forces would wish to intervene. But who prayed for them to descend? We remain most of the time in fatal modesty, dumb.
WITHOUT ASKING, WE CAN GIVE NOTHING.
QUESTIONS, PRAYER, ARE SIGNS OF A LACK.
WITHOUT THIS LACK THERE IS NO PLACE TO GIVE. (202)
The angels announce the "impossible", which becomes possible now, if we ask. Why do we remain stuck in the habitual mud of what is possible? The prayer is the wing that elevates us above the deadlock, the conditioned.
Who prays? About ALL? For EVERYTHING!
Who knows about our task? To be the intercessor for the whole of creation? Now and then we ask - inspired by a disaster - for us, or for our neighbour. Thus, we usually remain in the limitations of the personal.
The invigorating rhythm of the universe is asking and giving ... To ask and to give ... Man's calling is to ask ... to give belongs to the Angels ... and this, man passes on again.
THE GREATEST THAT HE GAVE US,
IS THAT WE CAN GIVE. (312)
I often feel the deep sorrow of the angels, not being able to give. They suffer in a world, which is pregnant with holistic possibilities for life, and which cannot come into the world, because nobody yet believes in them, because there is no-one asking for them to come.
COMPARED TO THE LIFE THAT COMES
THE PRESENT LIFE IS DEATH. (185)
Lethal lethargic silence ... or new life? We are responsible not only for what we do, but also particularly for what we fail to do.
When I told this to my friend, he felt pushed into a corner, and he asked me suddenly, almost aggressively, to leave my "private reservation".
"Yes, I know that I'm dumb, that in this world of the dead, I became dead myself ... But you ... you who live with the angels ... how do you live?"
"I, too, cannot endure for a longer time the new life in its incredible intensity, only here and then in blessed moments. But I have known for some time that I am almost like a trained butterfly. The light of the new dimension filters slowly into the darkness of the old cocoon and lets me see more and more unknown possibilities. Mature, I would love it ... perhaps soon, because the cocoon will soon be a prison ... so I will have to leave it. All I can do now, is to live so that it would become possible. And even when it is passionately interesting."
My friend replied hesitantly: "What you're saying seems to me possible, because it is `natural'.
Now you've made it hard for me to crawl back into my old, modest reservation!."
We had to laugh, both grateful and liberated.
Archangels Michael and Gabriel
© Reijo Oksanen 2012