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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Paul Evdokimov

In the catacombs, the most frequent image is the figure of a woman in prayer, the Orans; she represents the one true attitude of the human soul. It is not enough to say prayers; one must become, be prayer, prayer incarnate. It is not enough to have moments of praise. All of life, each act, every gesture, even the smile of the human face, must become a hymn of adoration, an offering, a prayer. One should not offer what one has, but what one is. ... It translates the message of the Gospel : khaíre, "rejoice and be glad," "let everything that has breath praise the Lord." This is the astonishing lightening of the weight of the world, when man's own heaviness vanishes.

Via Daily Readings in Orthodox Spirituality, ed. P. Bouteneff (Templegate Publishers, 1996), p. 55. Originally appeared in The Sacrament of Love (SVS Press, 1985), pp. 61-63.