Chairing the Pastoral-Missionary Conference of the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Bucharest on Monday, the Patriarch of Romania urged priests to use the Solemn and Commemorative Year 2022 as an opportunity to reflect on the activity of Hesychast Saints in our country. His Beatitude emphasized that the state of Wallachia emerged during the Hesychast movement, and its first metropolitan, St. Hiacynth of Vicina, was a Hesychast.
His Beatitude noted that hesychasm was a form of defence of Orthodoxy by intensifying prayer: “When the political world was very concerned with the kingdoms of this world, Hesychasts cultivated the presence of the Kingdom of Heaven in their hearts.”
Patriarch Daniel recalled that there was then a movement of hesychastic renewal in the eighteenth century, in the so-called “Enlightenment” century, when the emphasis was on rebellious reason against God, to which hesychasm responded with a reason praying to God.”
The conference theme was linked to the Solemn Year 2022: prayer. The Divine Liturgy is the highest form of prayer, in which “it is seen that the Church is the consciousness of creation,” said Patriarch Daniel opening the works of the clergy conference.
Before opening the pastoral and missionary conference, the Divine Liturgy and a Te Deum service were celebrated at Saint Spyridon Metropolitan Cathedral in Bucharest.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel blessed the works of the conference and spoke about the role of prayer in the life of the Church and the world.
“In the Orthodox Liturgy, it is seen that the Church is the consciousness of creation”
“It is essential that we pay close attention to prayer, which is the first work of the Church. And the highest form of the Church’s prayer is the Holy and Divine Eucharistic Liturgy of thanksgiving to God,” the Patriarch of Romania said in his opening remarks.
“In the Orthodox Liturgy, we see that the Church is the consciousness of creation because it thanks God not only for the Church and its activities, but for the whole creation, for all that God has created, and it prays for the salvation of the whole world. Therefore, we must affirm this cosmic dimension of Orthodox prayer, and then learn the diversity of forms of prayer in the Church,” His Beatitude added.
“Purification of the heart is the main purpose of those who pray, whether they are monastics or lay people,” Patriarch Daniel said. “Fasting, prayer, vigils, and all other feats have as the purpose this work of cleansing the heart. God reveals Himself to the pure heart.”
Prayer: man’s co-operation with God
“St. Gregory Palamas says that when man prays, the activity is not his alone, he is not the only one who works when he prays, but God also works in prayer, Who sends the grace of His merciful love into the heart of the one who prays. So, prayer is not merely human work. It is a co-operation of the soul with God,” His Beatitude said on June 6.
The opening speech and the message of Patriarch Daniel were followed by the presentation of several reports by clerics of the Archdiocese of Bucharest. One of the papers was presented by Professor Rev. Gheorghe Holbea, who spoke about St. Basil of Poiana Mărului, emphasizing the role of prayer in the life of the Christian.
The conference of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Bucharest took place on Monday and Tuesday at the Palace of the Patriarchate.
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu
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