10-25 Undistracted Prayer

Perhaps if you strive to meditate, you can relate with this one. I read something, some time ago, that we should look forward to times when we sit still, in silence, and focus upon our Lord. I used to–dread is too extreme a descriptor–those times but now I look to it. Evagrius’ truth is provocative.

Undistracted Prayer


“Undistracted prayer is the highest act of the intellect.”

—Evagrius Ponticus, Chapters on Prayer, 34.


To sit still in light or dark, seeking neither

eyelids tight as mussel shells

silence deep as a storm cellar

inner voices hushed as shadow speech


Waves of phantasms storms

across the mind’s cosmos

until sheer will shutters out all light


for a moment. Or two.


Mind’s eye blinks. The noonday demon stirs

the body’s temple into squirming,

curling and uncurling toes, tasting

that first wet kiss at the dark doorway,


then a shin furiously itches

until its skin is under fingernails.


You blink, exhale and try again.