Sunday, November 30, 2014

Praying at night

As with fasting, praying at night humbles the mind and body so as to make the heart more still and attentive to God.  For this reason, vigils are a special blessing to the ascetic not to be neglected.

The best, most graceful time for a monk's spiritual exercises is at night.  As the holy Fathers said: "It is during nighttime that the monk must best be engaged in his work."  Blessed Philotheus of Sinai teaches that the mind is purified best at night.  And St. Isaac the Syrian says: "Consider every prayer which we offer up in the night to be more important than all our daily actions.  For the sweet consolation which the one who fasts receives during the day comes out of the light received during the monk's nocturnal exercises."

Nil Sorsky