Prayer is not a mechanical activity, but a confrontation

The elder warned us not to pray while our hearts were steeped in unprayerful feelings, without thoughts wandering as they chose. Prayer is not a mechanical activity, but a confrontation, a conversation with the Holy Presence. Pray humbly, then, in awe of God.

How the elder loved nature

How the elder loved nature! He loved it in three different ways: as angels, children, and sages love it. When he walked through the forest with us, we felt the power of his prayers. It was as though ranks of angels surrounded us. The elder said very little in the midst of nature, but if he did say something, then it was with such child-like joy and simplicity that his earthly age disappeared. Nature for the elder was a book of the holy revelations of God.