Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Prayer Walk ....

Controlling Anger

One of the common maladies we all face is anger. It can be triggered in many ways, usually when someone opposes what we think should be done. Of course we should try and eliminate the causes of anger, but we also need to be prepared to deal with it when we inevitably succumb to it.

Anger is an emotion, and science shows us that emotions are the result of a very fast and complex bodily reaction triggered by some external event. When we sense a challenge to our being whether physically or egotistically, there is a chemical reaction that is sent though out our blood stream so the whole body reacts. This happens very quickly. And when it does its hard to overcome. It's like a barking dog. Once the dog starts barking it's hard to get him to stop.

Here is the way to deal with this situation where we become angry which almost always leads to a sinful action.

1. Make the sing of the Cross saying," Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner."

2. Continue to recite this prayer.
If the anger recedes you can proceed rationally. But, frequently this is not enough. The chemicals have been released into your blood stream and the body is ready for a fight. Your heart bear increases and you feel agitated. This is the time for the prayer walk.

3. Excuse yourself and take a prayer walk. As you walk say the Jesus prayer and time it with your step: Lord - step, Jesus - step - Christ - step - Son - step - of - step - God - step - Have - step - Mercy........ and so forth. Keep on walking and saying the prayer until your body has returned to a calm and normal state. Do not return to the interaction that triggered the anger until you feel peace and love in your heart.

Now you can begin to reflect on the situation that triggered this event and rationally choose how to best respond to it in a way that is consistent with the Commandments of our Lord.

Of course you must first have the ability to intervene with this prayer. This is why it is important to include the recitation of the Jesus prayer in your daily prayer rule, and establish well worn groves in your brain that make it a habitual response.

A Spiritual Guide is a Must for Practicing the Jesus Prayer ( Saint Porphyrios )

Why is a guide necessary? Because you can easily be lead astray. In prayer, you may experience visions or lights which are demonic and lead you to pride. A guide can help you deal with such such experiences. He can help you avoid being trapped by your pride and self will. He can guide you in a progressive way, growing step by step to the stage where you will see the true light.

Elder Porphyrios speaks of the danger of delusion,

And if in this spiritual dimension desire is enkindled, not by your good self, but by the other self, the egotistical self, then undoubtably you will begin to experience a pseudo-joy. But in your outward life you will be ever more aggressive and irascible, more quick-tempered and fretful. These are the signs of a person who is deluded.

A guide must be a person who is experienced in the prayer of the heart. It cannot be someone who prays mechanically and has not experienced prayer with the grace of God. Such a person will only be able to tell you what he has read in books.

A spiritual guide will keep you out of danger of delusion.

The Elder advises,

This is the teaching. We say that prayer cannot be taught, but in point of fact it can be taught when you live with someone who truly prays. When you take a book about prayer and read it, it may be that you don't understand anything. But when you have an elder next to you who prays, whatever he tells you about prayer you understand and take to heart.

Reference: Wounded By Love, pp 124 - 126