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So True

January 15, 2008

This was posted over at Steven Robinson’s Pithless Thoughts

More My Speed
When I became Orthodox the "Prayer Rope" was a cool new "Orthodox badge". I asked my spiritual father about owning one and he said sure… keep it in your pocket in public. I was sorely disappointed but obeyed. After a few years of seeing people with prayer ropes used as jewelry, bracelets, necklaces, and ropes as long as jumper cables dragging on the floor as someone conspicuously whispers "O,Ljshskshmshymeashnnr" over and over during the Liturgy, I got the message. Its tough to wear one or use one in public both piously and unvaingloriously… (at least for me. Forgive my presumption in projecting MY impiety and my desire for attention on those whom I’ve judged over the years.)

That said, after 8 years I now wear three prayer ropes on my wrist and I’m sure I’ll be judged according to the judgement with which I judge (sigh). Anyway, one was a gift from a dear friend from Mount Athos, a hundred tiny knots. The second was a gift too, a beautifully irregularly spaced twenty knot rope tied by the most innocent guileless young lady I know who had just begun tying prayer ropes and prayed for me while making it. But after ten years of trying to pray the Jesus Prayer, I have another gift. I finally own a prayer rope that actually represents the truth of my prayer life. It is my goal to truly use it once a day and actually say the Prayer without distraction, thoughts or an impure motive. Of course if I ever accomplish that, I suppose I couldn’t tell about it could I? Dang.