Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
This prayer is the roots upon which the Philokalia and Christianity live. In perhaps the shortest combination of words to do so, it speaks the whole Truth and is all we need to remember (perpetually) as members of the Church. It also represents the beginnings of my introduction to the Philokalia. I came to it as most do to Christ, in the hour of my deepest need. If ever there is a perfect time to know that you are and always will be a child of Christ, it is during the moments of darkness when you are haunted relentlessly by the enemy and led so deliberately close to the edge of doubt and despair. It was suggested to me during a period of such blackness that the Jesus Prayer be my 'worm'; the words I would utter endlessly throughout my days in pursuit of perspective and hope. I would later settle on both it and the second half of the Hail Mary. (Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.) These recitations work. I'm not sure where I will be after my trip through the Philokalia. I'd imagine work - taking the word to mean accomplished -will take on a much different meaning for me by the end. But for now (and in the darkness) work only means having me live to see another day - still a sheep among the heard.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.