School of Theology and Seminary Graduate Papers/Theses

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Date of Award


Document Type

Graduate Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Monastic Studies


School of Theology and Seminary

First Advisor

Helen Rolfson, OSF

Subject Categories

Christianity | Practical Theology


This paper discusses first, the meaning of Saint Paul's command to "pray without ceasing." Then, it looks at the historical background of the interpretation of unceasing prayer from both the Eastern and Western traditions, especially on how these two traditions shaped the method of the Jesus Prayer. A particular example of how the Jesus Prayer shaped the life of one individual is told in The Way of a Pilgrim. This is a story about an unknown Russian man who found the answer to his deepest desire for inner unceasing prayer through the practice of the Jesus Prayer. This paper, then discusses the Pilgrim's story in some detail. Finally, this paper concludes with some reflections on the theological meaning of the Jesus Prayer and emphasizes some of the basic principles of prayer. Through our perseverance of practicing the Jesus Prayer may our hearts be opened to our human wretchedness and the mercy of our Savior Jesus Christ.


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