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April 29, 2015 + On Prayer, Joy, and Anger

from Evagrius the Solitary

14. Prayer is the flower of gentleness and of freedom from anger.

15. Prayer is the fruit of joy and thankfulness.

16. Prayer is the remedy for gloom and despondency.

17. 'Go and sell all you have and give to the poor' (Matt. 19:21); and 'deny yourself, taking up your cross' (Matt. 16: 24). You will then be free from distraction when you pray.

18. If you wish to pray as you should, deny yourself all the time, and when any kind of affliction troubles you, meditate on prayer.

19. If you endure something painful out of love for wisdom, you will find the fruit of this during prayer.

20. If you desire to pray as you ought, do not grieve anyone; otherwise you 'run in vain' (Phil. 2:16).

21. 'Leave your gift before the altar; first go away and be reconciled with your brother' (Matt. 5:24), and when you return you will pray without disturbance. For rancor darkens the intellect of one who prays, and extinguishes the light of his prayers.

22. Those who store up grievances and rancor in themselves are like people who draw water and pour it into a cask full of holes.

23. If you patiently accept what comes, you will always pray with joy.

24. When you pray as you should, thoughts will come to you which make you feel that you have a real right to be angry. But anger with your neighbor is never right. If you search you will find that things can always be arranged without anger. So do all you can not to break out into anger.

From On Prayer: One Hundred and Fifty-Three Texts

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St. Basil the Bishop of Ostrog in Montenegro, Serbia

Troparion, Tone 4

From your youth you gave yourself entirely to the Lord, remaining in prayer, labor and fasting, O God-bearing Father. Because you were an example of virtues and good works to your flock, seeing your good work, God established you as a pastor and good hierarch of His Church. And after your repose, He kept your body incorrupt, O Holy Basil. Therefore, with boldness pray to Christ God to save our souls.