that time of silence…

monk at prayer

The elder (Cleopa of Sihastria) knew the importance of finding a peaceful environment for prayer, and he encouraged people to make quiet time in their own lives, recognizing that it is not always easy to find time to be undistracted and simply be with God.  Considering the fact that he constantly had people around him, this was a difficult thing for the elder himself to find.  One can imagine how he suffered from this after having spent so many years in peace and solitude in the wilderness!  Still, he preferred to spend time in the quiet of the outdoors rather than sleep.  He went outside every night, usually after midnight, even in the deep of winter, and stayed there for at least an hour.  During that time he practiced the prayer of the heart in the open air, listening to the songs of the night birds, looking at the vast array of stars and finding deep spiritual joy in that time of silence.  He looked forward to his time in the open air after the midnight prayers, when
everyone else was sleeping, for he knew he would not be disturbed.

Book: Elder Cleopa of Sihastria, Archimandrite Ioanichie Balan, Mother Cassiana (tr, ed)

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