"For just as the Sun is light for the bodym,
thus is prayer for the soul"
(Saint John Chrysostom)
The last instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ -"Go forth and preach to all the nations..." (Matth. 28:19)- has been applied by the Church since the beginning and until this day, through Her reliable persons, the successors of the Holy Apostles -priests and missionaries- not only directly, by means of their spoken word, but also indirectly, by means of the written and spoken word, with the contribution of technology. Similarly, the translative endeavour of the present essay titled "The Jesus Prayer and its application" into the English language is within the cadre of offering to our distant Orthodox, in Christ brethren.
As regards direct communication with God, human languages are only a relative thing, given that in essence, that which communicates and becomes united with God through Grace is man's heart, his soul, through which the Holy Spirit "intercedes in our favour, with ineffable sighs" (Rom. 8:26) when we receive Him within us -that is, "when the Spirit dwells within us and walks among us" (2 Cor. 6:16).
We could subsequently say that the chief -and par excellence- language by which we communicate with God is the language of the Holy Spirit. Even so, it is merely a prelude and a foretaste of that which will take place in the future, inasmuch as the language of the future aeon according to Abba Isaac the Syrian will be silence, because then, thanks only to the Grace of the Holy Spirit, there will be full communion on with God, but also between mankind, in the land of the living.
As we all know, in our day the languages of the present, deteriorating form of the world -and with the contribution of our weaknesses- are unable to ensure full communion between men, as a result of which, it is never achieved completely in every place and in every age. The Jesus Prayer however is able to bestow the language of the Holy Spirit to man, making it possible for him to converse in silence with God, incessantly, even from this lifetime.
We are therefore expressing our grateful thanks, firstly to the venerable Elder Kyrillos, Abbot of the Sacred Retreat "Pantokrator" of Melissohori, also to the sacred Brotherhood that surrounds him, as well as the Christian Orthodox Philanthropical Society of the friends of the said Retreat, with the name "Saint Gregory Palamas", which is under the shelter of the Very Reverend Abbot; despite the paucity of the text, they have been willing and have condescended to the realization of this translation, for the bemefit of a more widespread flock and for the glory of God.
We likewise extend our heartfelt thanks to Ms. Ekaterina Nikolopoulou, who was the translator of the said text. We also pray that the well-intentioned souls of those either close to, or far from, our Orthodox faith -who may thirst for a prayerful communication with God, but are not familiar with the Greek language- will sense and comprehend through the present English translation of the text, that our Orthodox Catholic Church truly experiences the noetic Jesus Prayer within Her bosom; that She truly possesses the prayer of the Pentecost which has been delivered by the Apostles and that She is also responsibly passing it on to Her flock, through Her Saints.
May the blessings of the Holy Fathers accompany all those who have subjected themselves to the labours of translating and publishing, and may the breath of the prayerful Grace of the Jesus Prayer touch, warm and set ablaze the hearts of those who desire the divine delight that comes from the incessant communication through prayer with our Lord and God, Jesus Christ.
In closing, we humbly ask for the blessings and prayers of those who have studied the present essay and have obtained some morsels of spiritual benefit.
Archimandrite Arsenios Katerelos