Fifty Spiritual Homilies. Homily 6

The true foundation of prayer is this, to concentrate attention, and to pray in great quietness and peace, so as to give no offence to those outside. Such a man, if he receives the grace of God upon his prayer, and continues to the last in his quietness, will edify other people more. For God is not the God of confusion, but of peace. Those who pray noisily are like the man who shouts to keep the rowers in time; they cannot pray everywhere, either in churches, or in villages; perhaps only in the deserts can they do it as they like. But those who pray quietly edify everybody everywhere. A man’s whole labour should be employed upon his thoughts; he must cut away the bush of evil thoughts which besets him, and urge himself to God, and not let his thoughts carry him where they like, but collect them when they wander in any direction, distinguishing natural thoughts from bad ones.

By Macarius of Egypt

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