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Every Sigh Can Be a Prayer is a compilation of teachings on the spiritual life by the Romanian elder Fr. Arsenie Papacioc. A confessor, a man of prayer, and a preacher of the Faith, who lived up to our times, Fr.

Arsenie understood the trials and complexities of contemporary life.

His answer to our weakness and instability is a positive asceticism, not based on the number of prayers we say but on a “state of awareness of God’s continuous presence.” Fr.

Arsenie calls us to a life of watch-fulness, of continuous attention:

“We must be grateful or present in

a state of awareness. That’s why I say that every moment is a taste of eternity and every sigh can be a prayer. This provides much greater benefit than many prayers or prostrations done mechanically.”

Few people live life as fully as did Fr. Arsenie. Before his entry into monasticism at the age of thirty-two, he had been an athlete, artist, chemist, mayor, soldier, and political prisoner. Leaving behind all his worldly success, Fr. Arsenie dedicated himself to Christ as a monk and priest for over sixty years. He spent a total of fourteen years in the infamous Romanian prisons, being arrested over forty times in his life. Prison was a spiritual academy for him, a place where he learned of the intricacies and depths of man’s soul, of the intrigues of the demons, and of God’s presence in the intense suffering he ex-perienced. After his release from prison, he spent a decade in various parishes and monasteries around Romania, bringing people back to the Church and feeding the faithful with his God-inspired wisdom.

This book gathers his teachings-the fruits of a long life of asceti-cism, watchfulness, and suffering for Christ-from interviews, talks, and letters. His words are a vigorous call, waking us from our sleep, to a life of deep engagement in all that we do through our life in Christ.