Dionysius the Areopagite on Prayer

In followup to yesterday’s post, 7 Thoughts on Prayer, I offer the following from Dionysius the Areopagite, Divine Names, III, 1 (PG 3,680):

It may be true that the divine principle is present in every being, but not every being is present in him. We ourselves will come to dwell with him if we call on him with very holy prayers and a tranquil mind. For his indwelling is not local, as if he could change position…. If we were on a ship, and to rescue us ropes attached to a rock were thrown to us, obviously we should not draw the rock any nearer to ourselves, but we would pull ourselves and our ship nearer to the rock…. And that is why … in prayer we need to begin, not by drawing to ourselves that Power that is everywhere and nowhere, but by putting ourselves in his hands and uniting ourselves to him.

Quoted by Olivier Clément in The Roots of Christian Mysticism, 182.

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