Table of Contents

A study on the tradition of the Jesus Prayer in Eastern Christendom.


“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

These are the words repeated continuously by Eastern Christian monks, and constantly used throughout the Orthodox liturgies, even in its simplest form, Kirie eleison, “Lord have mercy.” The prayer directed to the “Lord Jesus Christ” has behind it a long legacy, and is commonly called the “Jesus Prayer.”

The tradition of the “Jesus Prayer” is a prominent tradition in all Eastern Christian churches. It is a long tradition, and many commentators on this tradition believe that its foundation is in Scripture. This essay will discover the origins of the tradition of the Jesus Prayer and the evolving outlook of the tradition, along with presenting the opinions of the Church Fathers who aided in strengthening this tradition.


Prayer is a practice of contemplation of God. Jews practiced prayer, as we learn from the Hebrew Bible, as well as Gentiles, as we find in their many mythological and philosophical literatures; and both the Jews’ and the Gentiles’ methods and teachings about prayer influenced the Christians.

In terms of the Jewish practice of prayer, the Christians preferred to learn from the teachings of Jesus, and even the Apostles, as found in the New Testament. Jesus preached how to pray with others (Mt. 6:8-13) and to pray individually, in secret (Mt. 6:6). In the Gospel of John, Jesus asks his disciples to pray in his name (Jn. 16:24), and the Apostle Peter did this when he miraculously cured a lame man (Acts 3:6). The name of Jesus itself, it was believed, contained a tremendous amount of power and authority – even the (today) non-canonical Shepherd of Hermas contains the saying: “The Name of the Son of God is great and boundless, and upholds the entire universe” (Similitudes, 9:14). Again, we find Paul encouraging the communities to whom he wrote his letters to “pray constantly” (I Thess. 5:17). It is these words of Paul that created the foundation of continuous contemplation through asceticism in Christianity, although the invocation of the name of Jesus was not used in prayers for nearly the first five centuries of Christian asceticism.

Christian asceticism probably began during the time the Gospels and the Pauline letters were written. The apocryphal Acts of each of the Apostles, in particular that of Paul, show a development of Pauline asceticism – in fact, it was the apocryphal Acts and its ascetic ideal that won the interests of early Christians. This is well explained by E. Clark:

“There is now strong agreement that ascetic impulses are present in the earliest extant Christian writings (Paul’s letters) and that the Synoptic Gospels are replete with verses that Christians developed in a highly ascetic direction, for example… the praise for those who became ‘eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven’ (Mt. 19:12)…. The Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles are now seen as developing the pro-ascetic trajectory of New Testament teaching.”[1]

In addition to the influence of the New Testament, Greek philosophy, in particular Stoic and Platonic philosophy, was also a great influence in early Christianity, especially in Egypt. In Egypt, there were many ascetics even before Christianity was introduced, as witnessed by Philo of Alexandria[2] (20 B.C.E.-50 C.E.); in Alexandria we find a Christian philosophical/theological School that shaped and influenced all the doctrinal and spiritual/ascetic beliefs of Christians in Egypt.

Christianity in Egypt was inspired by Plato’s philosophy of “ideas” and “forms.” According to Plato (427-347 B.C.E.), the key to philosophy is knowledge, which is acquired by the soul through “remembering” a former life before a fall into the body – that is, before the soul was imprisoned in the body. The physical cosmos is always changing, and anything changing is unstable and unreal, so it is only a “form” of the real, created by God to direct the soul to the real and unchanging life. Through the practice of contemplation within the “forms,” the soul can attain “ideas” that reminds it of its pre-existence and its original, beautiful, peaceful, perfect nature. This, then, is the true practice of the philosopher: to contemplate ideas, to contemplate what is the Good, the Beautiful, the one… God. This contemplation can only be done in absolute silence and stillness. Finally, God reveals a vision, which is a “mystical experience.” It is this Platonic (Neo-Platonic in particular) language that was later borrowed by early Christianity.

Clement of Alexandria (d. 215 C.E.), a preacher in the School of Alexandria, was among the first figures in history to wed Christianity with Platonic philosophy. Concerning continuous prayer, he tried to explain it in terms of explicit prayer done in every place and at any time: “Now, if some assign definite hours for prayer – as, for example, the third, and sixth, and ninth – yet the Gnostic prays throughout his whole life, endeavoring by prayer to have fellowship with God. And, briefly, having reached to this, he leaves behind him all that is of no service, as having now received the perfection of the man that acts by love.”[3]

Clement makes it clear that the one (the Gnostic) who seeks to be perfect by continuous prayer leaves literally everything behind; in the words of Irene Hausherr: “The true Gnostic appears to have gone beyond the stage of asking God for anything at all, since he is prepared to renounce everything, even his eternal salvation.”[4] This explains the roots of the ascetic impulse of continuous prayer.

Following Clement of Alexandria in the lead of the School of Alexandria, Origen (182-251 C.E.) wrote an entire treatise on prayer. It was Origen who first made continuous prayer an implicit prayer, although he continues to mention that such prayer is explicitly the entire life of a person, as Clement did: “[He who] prays ‘constantly’ (deeds of virtue or fulfilling the commandments are included as part of prayer)… unites prayer with the deeds required and right deeds with prayer. For the only way we can accept the command to ‘pray constantly’ (1 Thess, 5:17) as referring to a real possibility is by saying that the entire life of the saint taken as a whole is single great prayer.”[5]

From Origen springs out the monastic movement in Egypt, which was followed by many of the Church Fathers in the East and the West, through the influences of fathers such as St. Basil of Caeserea in the East and St. John Cassian in the West; “This teaching of the greatest of the Greek exegetes became also that of the greatest Latin exegete, St. Augustine, and of the earliest Syriac exegete, Aphraates…. When St. Basil… said to his monks, ‘Let your whole life be a time of prayer,’ he was undoubtedly alluding to Origen’s exegesis.”[6]

It is the monks of Egypt who practiced the continuous prayers in an ascetical manner, following both the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles, as well as applying the (Platonic) philosophy taught at the School of Alexandria, and above all following the Origenist tradition of implicit prayer. The “Sayings of the Desert Fathers” contain many simple teachings and advice of monks (and nuns) living in the desert of Egypt, and even in Palestine and Syria, in the fourth century; and the “Lives of the Desert Fathers” contain information about the ascetic life of some of the monks. One of the examples worth mentioning about continuous prayer in monastic communities comes from Palestine:

“The Abba of this cenobium wrote to Epiphanius, Bishop of Cyprus, saying: ‘Thanks to your prayers we have been faithful to our canonical hours. We never omit the office of terce, sext, none or vespers.’ But the Bishop wrote back and reproached the monks in these terms: ‘Evidently you are neglecting the remaining hours of the day which you spend without prayer. The true monk should have prayer and psalmody in his heart at all times without interruption.’”[7]

Abba Arsenius (360-449 C.E.) became the greatest example of praying continuously, even during the time for work. Along with the practice of continuous prayer, he maintained periods of silence and stillness (hesychia) to be able to contemplate. Abba Arsenius became “the champion of hesychia”[8], and,

“Those who came after him and wrote about prayer, such as the famous Abba Isaiah, could claim his authority for saying, ‘Force yourself to say countless prayers.’ Or Hyperechios: ‘The measure of prayer for a monk is to pray without measure.’ Or the anonymous author who recorded this aphorism: ‘If a monk prays only at the times when he is standing at formal prayer, he does not pray at all.’ In briefer form: ‘To pray only at the appointed hours of prayer is not to pray at all.’”[9]

The monks who were instructed to pray continuously prayed by taking a single verse from Scripture, and repeated it throughout the day. We know about this practice through the writings of St. John Cassian (360-435 C.E.), a Romanian and a contemporary of St. Augustine, who traveled through Palestine, Egypt, Constantinople and Rome to meet and to interview all kinds of people (i.e. hermits and monks) who lived an ascetic life. He then introduced the Egyptian form of monasticism into the West, and established a monastery for monks and nuns in Marseilles. In one of his conferences with an Egyptian monk named Abba Isaac, St. John Cassian notes the content of one of the many prayers (and psalmody) that the monk must continuously say:

“And what follows now is the model to teach you, the prayer formula for which you are searching. Every monk who wants to think continuously about God should get accustomed to meditating endlessly on it and to banishing all other thoughts for its sake. But he will not hold on to it unless he breaks completely free from all bodily concerns and cares. This is something which has been handed on to us by some of the oldest of the Fathers and it is something which we hand on to only a very small number of the souls eager to know it: To keep the thought of God always in your mind you must cling totally to this formula for piety: ‘Come to my help, O God; Lord, hurry to my rescue’ (Ps. 69:2).”[10]

It is clear, then, that the monks of fourth century Egypt were praying specific verses from Scripture and using the words as a means for meditation. St. John Cassian quotes the above words from the Psalms, showing how Egyptian monks favored the prayerful words of the Psalms.

The next most influential Father who discussed the ascetic practices in monasteries was a monk living at the end of the fourth century, Evagrius of Pontus (345-399 C.E.), who was a contemporary of the three Cappadocian Fathers – St. Basil of Caesarea, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Gregory Nazianzen. He traveled to Egypt in 383 C.E., and was the first to have compiled the oral “Sayings of the Desert Fathers” in a systematic manner. He was a true follower of the Origenist tradition, and deployed a Christianized Platonic philosophy and Alexandrian theology in his writing. His theology begins by explaining that human beings are living in a state of ignorance, where their true nature is forgotten. The soul is continuously agitated with evil thoughts and passions, and the mind is constantly confused. The only way for the soul to remember its true state and attain knowledge of God is through contemplation, but this requires a cultivation of a state of silence and tranquility (hesychia), which again requires withdrawing (anachorisis) from family life, the whole of society, and one’s own passions. In other words, withdrawal allows the mind to concentrate by avoiding distractions and becoming passionless (apatheia), which provides silence, which allows for contemplation.[11]

Contemplation is the practice of prayer continuously, and as this sort of prayer is something attained, so are contemplation and knowledge things to be attained. Contemplation allows the mind to free itself of any unnecessary thoughts: “Evagrius… speaks of prayer as a ‘laying aside’ or ‘shedding’ of thoughts – not a savage conflict, not a ruthless campaign of furious aggression, but a gentle yet persistent act of detachment.”[12] It is the Evagrian stream of asceticism that became prominent in Egypt.

So far the focus was on asceticism in Egypt, although there was a different view of asceticism in different geographical areas in the East – that is, in Syria, Asia Minor, and northern Iraq. Unlike Egypt, extreme asceticism was undertaken in these areas, where the body was neglected and somewhat tortured as a result of this neglect, as we find in the example of St. Symeon the Styllite (389-459 C.E.). This sort of asceticism was not practiced in Egypt, even though they also thought of controlling the body, but not to the extent of torture through neglecting the basic needs of the body – to the Egyptians, what was important was to lay aside the thoughts, as Evagrius taught, but not to lay aside the body. This is was not the view of ascetics of Syria.

The asceticism of Syria gave birth to the Enthusiast stream of asceticism. The Enthusiasts had Semitic roots, with its own peculiar understanding of Scripture due to the language barrier (as compared to the Greek understanding). Unlike the Hellenistic philosophical schools, the Enthusiast tradition personalized good and evil in the soul as the Holy Spirit and demons respectively. In the Enthusiast tradition, the body and the soul are extremely connected, to the extent that the soul manifests its feelings in the body, such as charismatic joy during prayers and expressions of tears during emotional periods.

Prayer was very important in the Enthusiast tradition, and for this reason the people who practiced this tradition were called the “Messalians,” which is a Syriac word and “means ‘people of prayer’ or ‘those who pray,’ but this was a term used by their adversaries; they called themselves ‘spirituals.’”[13] The Messalians understood the words of Paul the Apostle, “Pray continuously” (I Thess. 5:17) quite literally, and they did no work of any kind in order to dedicate their whole day to prayer without ceasing. The Messalians were later seen as a heterodox group, as they believed that even after the sacrament of baptism the demons remain in the body. This, according to them, explains why people still sin after baptism; “Baptism is therefore useless like all the other sacraments. The baptized Christian remains corrupted by sin just as before.”[14] Only continuous prayer (after baptism) can drive out the demons – the demons are driven out through a physical expulsion process, and then the Holy Spirit “enters the individual in a manner that also is sensibly and visibly perceived.”[15]

Although many councils condemned the Messalians as heterodox because of their different beliefs about the effectiveness of the sacrament of baptism, they successfully found a position in the Orthodox Church through the use of literature, in particular a set of fifty homilies claimed to be written by Makarios, a monk from Egypt.[16] The pseudo-Makarian homilies, as they are called, are extremely Enthusiastic, and oppose the Evagrian tradition – both the body and soul are involved in the former, but only the soul (the real human being according to Platonic thought) is involved in the latter. Yet, the homilies speak of continuous prayer through “remembrance”: “Christians ought at all times to preserve the remembrance of God… in order that they may show love to the Lord not only when they go into the place of prayer, but that also when they are walking, talking, or eating, they may preserve the remembrance of God, and a sense of love and yearning towards Him.”[17]

There is clear evidence that the Messalians, who were following the Enthusiast tradition, and the monks of Egypt, who were following the Evagrian tradition, were getting into conflicts quite often:

“There came to Abba Lucius in Ennaton certain monks of the kind called the Euchites [Greek for Messalians]; and the old man asked them, ‘What kind of handiwork do you do?’ They replied, ‘We touch no kind of handiwork, but following the Apostle’s words, we pray without ceasing.’ And the old man said to them, ‘So you do not eat?’ They said, ‘Yes, we eat.’ And he said, ‘Now while you are eating, who prays for you?’ Then he asked them again, ‘You do not sleep?’ And they said, ‘Yes, we do sleep.’ The old man said, ‘And while you sleep, who prays for you?’ And they could find an answer to this. And he said to them, ‘Forgive me, but see, you fail to do as you say. But I will show you how I work with my hands and at the same time pray without ceasing. For with God’s aid I sit steeping my few palm leaves, and from them I weave a rope; and all the time I say, ‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy great mercy, and according to the multitude of Thy mercies, blot out my transgression’ (Ps. 50:1).”[18]

It was only in the fifth century that the two opposing traditions were united through the efforts of one man from Sinai – Diadochos of Photike (? fifth century), who defended the Council of Chalcedon in 451 C.E. Diadochos is “one writer who saw and adopted much that was good in the Messalian teachings, while at the same time cautioning the Christian community regarding the borders between truth and error.”[19] He avoided the error of the Messalians by explaining that baptism expels the demons and the Holy Spirit dwells within the baptized Christian. He adopted the charismatic and experiential theology of the Messalians, and connected it with the Evagrian tradition. Prayer, he said, is contemplation, which leads to wisdom and knowledge, and also passionlessness (apatheia) – this is the Evagrian thought; but he also added that wisdom and knowledge can be expressed outwardly in charismatic ways – this is the Messalian thought.

The Messalians also thought that they could directly see the substance of God, but Diadochos disagreed with that idea: “Using a strongly experiential language, Diadochos speaks of a mystical experience of divine light. In moving over to a symbolic language of light… he avoids the theological difficulties faced by the Messalians with their overly bold claims about mystical vision of God.”[20]

Diadochos of Photike, while writing about prayer, for the first time introduced a new element in the tradition of continuous prayer and hesychia. This new element is the invocation of the name of Jesus in the continuous prayer: “When we have blocked all its outlets by means of the remembrance of God, the intellect requires of us imperatively some task which will satisfy its need for activity. For the complete fulfillment of its purpose we should give it nothing but the prayer ‘Lord Jesus…’”[21] Again, he says: “Whoever wishes to purify his heart should continually cherish the memory of the Lord, making it his meditation and his constant occupation…. He must give himself to prayer at all times and keep watch over his intellect whether he is in a place reserved for prayer or not.”[22] Diadochos of Photike gave birth to the Jesus Prayer, which became widely used by Eastern Christian monks.

During the sixth century, we still have some references to the Jesus Prayer tradition that Diadochos introduced. In a Gaza monastery in Palestine, two elders called Barsanuphius and John, who lived during the sixth century, say the following concerning the power of the Jesus Prayer, reminiscent to that mentioned in the Shepherd of Hermas: “The remembrance of the Name of God utterly destroys all that is evil.”[23] Also, in the Mount Sinai monastery in Egypt, St. John Climacus (of the Ladder), who lived during the sixth century, commented on the Jesus Prayer as follows: “Flog your enemies with the name of Jesus, for there is no weapon more powerful in heaven or on earth… Let the remembrance of Jesus be united to your every breath, and then you will know the value of stillness.”[24] There are certainly other influential writers on the Jesus Prayer tradition, such as Isaac the Syrian, Mark the Hermit, Hesychius of Jerusalem, Philotheus of Sinai, and many others.

In the Coptic monasteries of Egypt, the monks included daily hymns (psalies) prayed during their midnight praises, and they are each based on the Jesus Prayer. Egyptian monks were extremely inclined to the Jesus Prayer, such that its words survived in writing on the walls of a monastery in Kellia dating to seventh century. However, in the rest of the Eastern churches, the Jesus Prayer tradition was liable to collapse. It was only revived once again by Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022 C.E.). Another influential writer was Nicephorus (thirteenth century), a monk from Mount Athos, in whose writings are found plenty of Evagrian thoughts.

It is in Nicephorus’ writings that we read, for the first time, about a psychophysical technique of praying the Jesus Prayer. This method is also attributed to Symeon the New Theologian, although there is more evidence to support that it was written in the thirteenth century. Nicephorus has this to say concerning the technique of practicing the Jesus Prayer, which is a technique of regulating breathing and heat in the heart (based on Greek medical theories):

“You know that breathing brings air into the heart. And so sit quietly and take your mind and lead it by the path of breathing into the very heart and hold it there; do not give it freedom to escape as it would wish to. While holding it there do not leave your mind idle but give it the following holy words to say: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me!’ And let the mind repeat them day and night…. Just as a man who returns home from a foreign country is beside himself with joy at seeing his wife and children, in like manner the mind, when it is united with the heart, is full of unspeakable joy and delight.”[25]

The method attributed to Symeon the New Theologian adds more details:

“You should be completely free from passionate attachments; your thoughts should not be inclined to anything worldly. Then sit alone in a quite place, close the door, take your mind from every temporal and vain thing, bow your head toward your chest and stay attentively inside of yourself, not in the head but in the heart….”[26]

Gregory of Sinai, during the fourteenth century, spent most of his time on the mountains between the borders of Byzantium and Bulgaria, and he was responsible for bringing the Jesus Prayer tradition, along with its breathing techniques, into Slavic Christendom. On the other hand, a controversy in Byzantium occurred at nearly the same time Gregory of Sinai preached to the Slavs. During the mid-1330’s, a Greek monk named Barlaam from Southern Italy, who was well-educated in Aristotelian logic and philosophy, went to Byzantium and had discourses in the imperial court. Barlaam involved himself with ecumenical dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, but Gregory Palamas disagreed with him concerning the addition of the Filioque to the creed.[27] Barlaam was also not acquainted with the breathing techniques of the Jesus Prayer practiced by the Athenian monks, and he denounced the monks to Constantinople and called them “naval-gazers,” since they sat with their heads down to their chests; and he accused them of claiming that “the human body, and not only the mind, could be transfigured by divine light and contribute to the knowledge of God,”[28] fearing that they were practicing a form of Messalianism. Gregory Palamas took a stand against Barlaam and defended the monks. He then wrote his book of the Triads, and the Church finally rebuked Barlaam in two councils held in Constantinople in 1341.[29]

With the defense of Gregory Palamas, the Jesus Prayer tradition was fully recovered and widely used again. Since then, we get many sermons and homilies by monks, priest, bishops, and even laypeople, concerning the need and the importance of the Jesus Prayer. The Jesus Prayer no longer remained exclusively for monks, but it became a useful prayer for every Christian. This is fully expressed in the writings of Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain (1749-1809 C.E.), who, along with Makarios Notaras (1731-1805), compiled the writings of twenty-five Fathers into one book[30] called the Philokalia (Love of Beauty), where the main theme is the practice of the Jesus Prayer. In one of the writings attributed to Nicodemus, we read: “Let no one think, my fellow Christians, that only priests and monks need to pray without ceasing, and not laypeople. No, no: every Christian without exception ought to dwell always in prayer.”[31]

In the nineteenth century, a book by an anonymous Russian author called The Way of the Pilgrim,[32] became a source of encouragement to all Eastern Christian people to practice the Jesus Prayer. The pilgrim in the story traveled from place to place, accompanied by the Jesus Prayer, and carried with him a Bible and the Philokalia for spiritual nourishment. The pilgrim described his many encounters and experiences with people he met while traveling, all to show the power and comfort gained by continuously repeating the Jesus Prayer, which is, according to him, a summary of the whole Gospel.[33]

The story begins with the pilgrim in Church, and heard an epistle of St. Paul read and noted the words, “Pray constantly” (1 Thess. 5:17). He pondered the meaning of these words, and sought out people who could help him to “explain this mystery.”[34] After a long time, he encountered an elderly monk, who explained to him about the practice of the Jesus Prayer. The pilgrim was comforted, and desired to learn how to pray without ceasing. He was given the Philokalia by the elder to read, and a prayer rope in order to keep count of the prayers. Later, the elder died, but continued to guide him through revelations, and the pilgrim slowly advanced to say the Jesus Prayer continuously in his heart, using the breathing techniques: “When I began to pray with the heart, everything around me became transformed and I saw it in a new and delighted way;”[35] “So now I walk and say the Jesus Prayer without ceasing and it is more precious and sweet to me than anything else in the world.”[36]

Today, there are several books on the Orthodox tradition of the Jesus Prayer. Among the most prominent authors is Bishop Kallistos Ware, who sees in the prayer, as did the anonymous Russian pilgrim, a summary of the Gospel, as well as theological completeness: “The Jesus Prayer,” he affirms, “is both Christocentric and Trinitarian.”[37] The Bishop’s words may be taken as a conclusion of this study on the tradition of the Jesus Prayer that is firmly established in the Eastern Christian churches:

“The aim of the Jesus Prayer, as of all Christian prayer, is that our praying should become increasingly identified with the prayer offered by Jesus the High Priest within us, that our life should become one with his life, our breathing with the Divine Breath that sustains the universe. The final objective may aptly be described by the Patristic term theosis, ‘deification’ or ‘divinization’…. ‘The Logos became man,’ says St Athanasius, ‘that we might become god’…. The more the Prayer becomes a part of ourselves, the more we enter into the movement of love which passes unceasingly between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”[38]


[1] Clark, E. Asceticism and Scripture in Early Christianity, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), p.25, 26.

[2] Philo of Alexandria, On the Therapeutes, 1:3.

[3] Clement of Alexandria, Stromata Book VII, Chapter VII, in Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II

[4] Hausher, Irene, The Name of Jesus, (Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1978), p.146.

[5] Origen, On Prayer XII:2, in Greer, Rowan A. (trans.), Origen, (New York: Paulist Press, 1979), p.104.

[6] Hausher, Irene, The Name of Jesus, (Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1978), p.131.

[7] Ibid. p.132.

[8] Ibid. p.133.

[9] Ibid. p.133.

[10] John Cassian, “Conferences,” Conference 10, 10, in Luibheid, Colm (trans.), John Cassian: Conferences, (New York: Paulist Press, 1985), p.132.

[11] Stewart, Columba, “Chapter 4: Evagrius of Ponticus on Prayer and Anger,” in Valentasis, R., Religions of Late Antiquity and Practice, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), p.66.

[12] Ware, Bishop Kallistos, The Inner Kingdom, Volume I, (New York: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2001), p.100.

[13] Sinkewicz, Robert E., The Enthusiast Tradition in Byzantium, (Custom Publishing: UTP, 2002), p.1.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid. p.2

[16] This is known as the “Homilies of Pseudo-Makarios” today, and the majority of scholars agree that the Messalians, probably Symeon of Mesopotamia, wrote it.

[17] Pseudo-Makarios, Homily 43:3, in Ware, Bishop Kallistos, The Inner Kingdom, Volume I, (New York: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2001), p.81.

[18] AP, Lucius, I (253B), in Ware, Bishop Kallistos, The Inner Kingdom, Volume I, (New York: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2001), p.79.

[19] Sinkewicz, Robert E., The Enthusiast Tradition in Byzantium, (Custom Publishing: UTP, 2002), p.2.

[20] Ibid. p.6.

[21] Diadochos of Photike, “On Spiritual Knowledge,” in Ware, Bishop Kallistos, The Inner Kingdom, Volume I, (New York: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2001), p.101.

[22] Diadochos of Photike, in Hausher, Irene, The Name of Jesus, (Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1978), p.278.

[23] In Ware, Bishop Kallistos, The Power of the Name: The Jesus Prayer in Orthodox Spirituality, (Oxford: SLG Press, 1987), p.11.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Nicephorus the Solitary, in Bacovcin, Helen (trans.), The Way of a Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues His Way, (New York: Doubleday, 1992), p.182, 183.

[26] Symeon the New Theologian, in Bacovcin, Helen (trans.), The Way of a Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues His Way, (New York: Doubleday, 1992), p.177.

[27] Meyendorf, John, “Introduction,” in Gregory Palamas: The Triads, (New York: Paulist Press, 1983), p.6.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Five volumes in English translation.

[31] Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain, “From the Life of St. Gregory, Archbishop of Thessalonica,” in Ware, Bishop Kallistos, The Inner Kingdom, Volume I, (New York: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2001), p.85.

[32] Or, alternatively, The Pilgrim’s Tale.

[33] Bacovcin, Helen (trans.), The Way of a Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues His Way, (New York: Doubleday, 1992), p.33.

[34] Ibid. p.13.

[35] Ibid. p.34.

[36] Ibid. p.24.

[37] In Ware, Bishop Kallistos, The Power of the Name: The Jesus Prayer in Orthodox Spirituality, (Oxford: SLG Press, 1987), p.11.

[38] Ware, Bishop Kallistos, The Power of the Name: The Jesus Prayer in Orthodox Spirituality, (Oxford: SLG Press, 1987), p.25.


Bacovcin, Helen (trans.). The Way of a Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues His Way. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
—Nicephorus the Solitary, “Appendix.”
—Symeon the New Theologian, “Appendix.”

Clark, E. Asceticism and Scripture in Early Christianity. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999.

Clement of Alexandria, “Stromata” Book VII, Chapter VII, in Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II

Greer, Rowan A. (trans.). Origen. New York: Paulist Press, 1979.
—Origen, “On Prayer”.

Hausher, Irene. The Name of Jesus. Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1978.

Luibheid, Colm (trans.). John Cassian: Conferences. New York: Paulist Press, 1985.
—John Cassian, “Conferences.”

Meyendorf, John. “Introduction,” in Gregory Palamas: The Triads. New York: Paulist Press, 1983.

Philo of Alexandria, “On the Therapeutes.”

Sinkewicz, Robert E. The Enthusiast Tradition in Byzantium. Custom Publishing: UTP, 2002.

Stewart, Columba. “Chapter 4: Evagrius of Ponticus on Prayer and Anger.” In Valentasis, R. Religions of Late Antiquity and Practice. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.

Ware, Bishop Kallistos. The Inner Kingdom, Volume I. New York: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2001.

Ware, Bishop Kallistos. The Power of the Name: The Jesus Prayer in Orthodox Spirituality. Oxford: SLG Press, 1987.