You say that you do not understand how the saints in Heaven can hear us when we pray to them. Think, then, of the rays of the sun – how they come down from heaven to us, shedding light upon everything throughout the earth. The saints in the spiritual world are like the rays of the sun in the material world. God is the eternal life-giving Sun, and the saints are the rays of this all-knowing Sun. Just as the eyes of the Lord look constantly upon the earth and its inhabitants, so also the eyes of the saints cannot but turn in the same direction...
The heart is the eye of the human being. The purer the heart is, the quicker, further, and clearer it can see. But with the saints of God this spiritual eye is refined, even during their lifetime, to the highest degree of purity possible for man, and after their death, when they have become united with God, through God's grace it becomes still clearer and wider in the limits of its vision. Therefore, the saints can see very clearly, widely, and far: they see our spiritual wants; they see and hear all those who call upon them with their whole heart... How easy it is to communicate with the saints!
St. Paisios on Praying at Home
Silence greatly helps in spiritual life. It is good for one to practice silence for about an hour a day: to test himself, to acknowledge his passions and to fight in order to cut them off and purify his heart. It is very good if there is a quiet room in the house which gives him the feeling of a monastic cell. There, “in secret,” he is able to do his spiritual maintenance, to study, and to pray. A little spiritual study done before prayer helps greatly. The soul warms up and the mind is transported to the spiritual realm. That’s why, when a person has many distractions during the day, he should rejoice if he has ten minutes for prayer, or even two minutes to read something, so as to drive away distractions.
—St. Paisios the Athonite (1924-1994), from Family Life