Ejaculatory prayer and monasticism

Ejaculation for Salvation

“Ejaculation, on the website of a priest?”  I can hear the questions now.  But, mastering ejaculation is important to your spiritual health.  So, I want to expose you to a Christian understanding of ejaculation.

Ejaculation is an ancient Christian practice of watchfulness and holiness as expressed in Volume One of the Philokalia by St. Hesychios the Priest.  Jesus said for us to “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” (Matt 26:41).  But keeping watch was hard for the Apostles and Disciples.  Certainly it is hard for you and for me!

St. Hesychios states that “watchfulness is a spiritual which, if…practiced over a long time…frees us with God’s help from” temptation.  He says that “watchfulness…guides us to a true and holy way of life.”  So, watchfulness leads to holiness.

Ejaculation leads to watchfulness

Ejaculatory prayer and monasticismEjaculatory prayer is a one-line prayer that can be easily said to yourself, whenever necessary.  It is short enough that it can be repeated to yourself, in rapid succession.  The goal is to settle your spirit by focusing on the words of your prayer.  You try to slow your breathing, saying as much of the pray as you can on your inhale, then rhythmically saying the remainder of the prayer on your exhale.

The most famous ejaculatory prayer is the “Jesus Prayer:” “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me a sinner.”  In the Jesus Prayer, you acknowledge Jesus as your Lord.  You acknowledge Him as the Son of God.  You acknowledge that you are a sinner.  You appeal to Jesus for mercy.

The Jesus Prayer is a powerful prayer: an ejaculation that leaves the spirit in a relaxed state.  St. Hesychios says “extreme watchfulness and the Prayer of Jesus Christ…are the necessary basis” for the watchfulness and prayer needed to live holy lives.  Therefore, the minute we detect temptation from our own thoughts, we ought have an ejaculation to bring us back to a place of calm.

Ejaculation in a Way of Your Own

The Jesus Prayer is not the only ejaculatory prayer.  Here are some other examples.

Ejaculatory prayers can be developed for yourself!  You know your own likes.  You know your own needs.  So, you can best choose your form for ejaculation.  And the Season of Lent is the best time to begin cultivating this practice.

Where are the areas in which your character could use improving?

  • Do you procrastinate?  “Lord Jesus Christ, give me diligence!”
  • Are you unfaithful?  “Bind me to faithfulness, Lord Jesus!”
  • Are you anxious?  “Lord Jesus, settle the waves around me?”

What type of ejaculation do you need?

Watch and pray….without ceasing.  Know yourself and the areas where you face most attacks from the enemy.  Then develop your ejaculatory prayer and master it so that you might master watchfulness and holiness.  May God give us strength to endure this pursuit!  Amen!

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