björk – prayer of the heart

John Tavener composed this specifically for Björk. She chants a prayer from the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition, “Prayer of The Heart”, accompanied by the Brodsky Quartet.

“Prayer of The Heart” is a short, simple prayer that has been widely used, taught and discussed throughout the history of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. It is, for the Orthodox, one of the most profound and mystical prayers, and is often repeated endlessly as part of personal ascetic practice. It is particularly used in the practice of the spiritual life known as hesychasm. Based on Christ’s injunction in the Gospel of Matthew, “when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray”, hesychasm in tradition has been the process of retiring inward by ceasing to register the senses, in order to achieve an experiential knowledge of God. The prayer is particularly esteemed by the spiritual fathers of this tradition as a method of opening the heart.

Greek: Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, Υἱὲ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλέησόν με (τὸν ἁμαρτωλόν).
English: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me (a sinner).

More info from Wikipedia HERE, and from Orthodox Wiki HERE.

on incarnation and sacrifice

christ

But supposing God became a man – suppose our human nature which can suffer and die was amalgamated with God’s nature in one person – then that person could help us. He could surrender His will, and suffer and die, because He was man; and He could do it perfectly because He was God. You and I can go through this process only if God does it in us; but God can only do it if He becomes man. Our attempts at this dying will succeed only if we men share in God’s dying, just as our thinking can succeed only because it is a drop out of the ocean of God’s intelligence: but we cannot share God’s dying unless God dies; and God cannot die except by being a man. That is the sense in which He pays our debt, and suffers for us what He Himself need not suffer at all.

~ C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity