Monday, November 19, 2012

Mother Maryam Zakka on Combatting Distracting Thoughts

Arabic original here.

Dear Mother Maryam,
Dear mother, thoughts assault me and I am unable to pray. I ask you, please help me with your prayers. I love you and bow before you,
J. N.

Beloved daughter in the Lord,


Stop praying "traditionally", if we can call it that way, and immerse yourself in the Holy Name alone!

"Jesus- Jesus- Jesus, my Lord and my God, Your mercy and Your protection- Jesus- Jesus- Jesus- Jesus, have mercy on me, forgive me, save me..."

This name conquers every thought that disturbs you and everything in existence... Opposing forces cannot approach it!

The war of thoughts is the war of every serious believer in the Lord Jesus! Do not fear... do not doubt and do not give up... But persist, and when the war besets you, cry you "Lord have mercy on me... Jesus have mercy on me..." At that moment the Lord is able to cause your tears to burst forth... tears of repentance, tears of longing, tears of hope, tears of silence, tears of moving from sorrow to tranquility. Then the Lord comes to console your heart with His presence and you rejoice at His being present with His light in the peace of your heart. The path of prayer is the path of following the Lord up to Golgotha!

There on the cross the Spirit abides and you abide with Him if you are patient and accept every trial that comes to us from Him in order to prove us, so that we can be clean of every semblance of evil.

The Lord Jesus permits these thoughts that attack and disturb your prayer so that your struggle can intensify along your path and you will find angelic brothers along your way who support you because they too suffer from their sins, the ignorance of the people, and the wars waged against them from every direction. They live their life in a strange solitude, even if they were with all their families and among people. You long for those who have preceded you into eternal life. Natural, but you do not stop at departure but rather meet them in prayer, in service in the Church, and standing before the  face of the Lord Jesus.

The praying believer remains alone and a stranger in his world, but he must reach out in silence and tears, to feed the poor and offer to provide for every person in need, to have mercy and give consolation to the oppressed, to quiet the needy's crying out for the mercy of their Lord, in prayer.

In this way you are now a stranger, a prisoner of grace and divine love!

Your participation in the service of your church and its needs makes you an apostle for Christ among those abroad like you, those far from their motherland who nevertheless are close to the alienation of those who love Christ in the world.

"We have no lasting city here..." So let us look to the one to come, to the kingdom, to the new heavenly Jerusalem, the mother of us all, the homeland of the righteous and the saints who went before us. There we shall live without pain and sighing, without sin and repentance, with the songs of those rejoicing, abiding in the joy of the light that knows no evening.

Be in peace, my beloved, and the Lord be with you. He is your shepherd.

Mother Maryam
Abbess of the Monastery of St John the Baptist-- Douma
November 18, 2012

No comments: