Stillness helps us by making evil inoperative. If it also takes to itself these four virtues in prayer, it is the most direct support in attaining dispassion. The intellect cannot be still unless the body is still also; and the wall between them cannot be demolished without stillness and prayer. The flesh with its desire is opposed to the spirit, and the spirit opposed to the flesh, and those who live in the spirit will not carry out the desire of the flesh (cf. Ga 5:15-17).
There is no perfect prayer unless the intellect invokes God; and when our thought cries aloud without distraction, the Lord will listen. When the intellect prays without distraction it afflicts the heart; and “a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise” (Ps 51:17). Prayer is called a virtue, but in reality it is the mother of the virtues: for it gives birth to them through union with Christ.
Whatever we do without prayer and without hope in God turns out afterwards to be harmful and defective.
Based on St. Mark the Ascetic
In this photo a monk is waiting for the entrance at Vespers during a vigil.