St. Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church
872 N. 29th St. Boise, ID
an American parish of the Russian Orthodox Church
How to Maintain a Prayerful Spirit Throughout Lent

Archpriest Igor Ryabko:

Prayerful and repentant focus is a high note, and you can only sustain it in solitude, and even then not for everyone, and not always. As for how to achieve the maximum “overall” in the daily hustle and bustle I would recommend the following.

Our life is a spiritual building, and each passing day is another brick laid. The clay of this brick consists of three ingredients: our thoughts, feelings, and desires. Combined with one another, they give rise to intentions and turn those intentions to actions.

It’s important to be able to keep control over these three basic components, that our thoughts do not disperse, our desires do not arouse the “desiring” and “irascible” parts of the soul, and our feelings would be found in the plane of a prayerful spirit and repentant memory. It’s very difficult. To do it we have to remove everything that will distract our minds from inner attentiveness from our field of vision and hearing, or, at least deprive ourselves of all forms of entertainment and idleness.

Our mind is a millstone, working without stopping. Therefore, if we don’t plant wheat there, the demons will certainly plant chaff. Give your mind food for thought. For this we must read something to feed the mind with good feelings and ponder what we have read. If it becomes a habit, then congratulations on your worthy endeavor!