(By Father George Calciu)
My will for you is to never cease praying. My hope of you is to understand that, if there is a protection extending over human society, over our country, this is the power of prayer. Do not execute a prayer of routine, but put your heart in motion, fill yourself with the shiver of prayer. I am convinced that many of you are praying; I too was praying, and believed – before they placed me in prison (see note) – that I knew how to pray. There, (in gulag), I discovered that I do not know how to pray. (…). If the shiver of faith does not penetrate you from the head to the soles of your feet, you are not in true prayer. It is not easy. But if you persist, the Lord will help you and grant you the grace of prayer. And this grace is only given as you ask it. The grace of prayer is gained through great effort and persistence. Our Savior had said: “From John the Baptist on, the Kingdom of Heaven is taken by force (conquest)!” And this is “our conquest” – to ask with persistence for the grace that only the Lord can grant.
Now, Iwould like to address a word to the theologians and advise them: learn how to pray, so then you may teach others! As long as you do not know how to pray, it is in vain to say to your spiritual children “Pray!” When the priest will know how to pray, he will transmit this flow of power to his spiritual child.
(Fragments from a speech given in Bucharest, 1998, to ASCOR – Association of Christian Orthodox College Students of Romania and translated from Romanian by EC)
Note: Fr. George Calciu reposed in 2006 at the age of 81, having spent unjustly more than a quarter of his life in the diabolic prisons of Communist Romania, only because he confessed the Christian faith. From these experiences in prison, he emerged as a witness to God’s love, forgiveness, and ability to resurrect man from the death of his soul.