The Church at Prayer – The Mystical Liturgy of the Heart
By Archimandrite Aimilianos of Simonopetra
Published by Indiktos, Athens, 2005.
“Let us leave the earth below and let us become like flames of fire, so that we too can ascend to where God is.”
‘The Church at Prayer’ is a book compiled of various sermons delivered by the Athonite Elder at various monasteries and parishes in Greece and Cyprus. Elder Aimilianos discusses some of the most important aspects of our lives as Orthodox Christians, with chapters on Prayer, the Divine Liturgy, Spiritual Study, and the Spiritual life.
The first chapter is on Prayer. The Elder details how we can approach God in prayer, even though we have made Him so far away from us. This is when we need to cry out to God “so that he will take pity on me and answer me.”
In the chapter ‘The Divine Liturgy,’ Elder Aimilianos explains this “window of Heaven” that we experience every week, but perhaps take for granted. He analyses the major parts of the Liturgy expressing in such beautiful language how every prayer and hymn that we hear and chant is truly an experience of the Kingdom of Heaven. The chapter reaches its climax when the Elder expresses how important it is for us to “set our heart on fire with the flame of His love” at the completion of every liturgy so that it may “burn up within us everything that is rotten, and which will cleanse us in preparation for eternal life.”
One of the greatest problems many Orthodox Christians face today is that we do not know God personally. ‘The Church at Prayer’, written by such a Holy Elder of our times, shows us how we are to approach Christ Himself through the Divine Liturgy and Prayer: these awesome gifts that God has given us!
Source: October-November 2014 Lychnos Edition