14 February 2008

Metr. Kallistos: A Quote on Prayer

"When we pray, we're all sharing the noetic onion."

This quote, of course, refers to the (in)famous story of Dostoevsky about the woman whose guardian angel tried to get her out of hell by means of an onion that she once gave to a beggar. It failed to work because, as be began to pull her out with the onion, other souls began to try to hold on to her, and she began to shout "Go away, it's my onion!" At which time, the onion promptly snapped and she fell back in.


Petronia said...

I have to admit it took me more than a couple of seconds to catch on...but now that I get it, what a great metaphor! The truth of salvation within community is becoming more and more clear to me, even if slowly.

The Hermit said...

I love Metropolitan Kallistos...his sense of humor is very British, and his intelligence is very vast. It makes such a delightful combination, especially when you listen to him talk.

I, too, become more and more convinced that the way of the individual is the way of death each day; it makes it hard living where we do, but, I suppose, no harder than Christians living in the time of Nero, Marcus Aurelius, or Diocletian. We may be publicly ridiculed, but at least we are not yet being sent to prison, tortured, or put to death. Not yet...