When the Baal Shem Tov had difficult work to do,he would go to a certain place in the woods,where he made a fire and meditated. In the spontaneous prayers that came through him then the work that needed to get done was done.
A generation later the Maggid of Meseritz was given the same work. He went to the place in the forest and said,"I no longer know how to light the fire and meditate,but I can say the prayers." What needed to happen,happened.
A generation after that it came to Moshe Leib of Sassov to do the work. He went into the woods and spoke,"I do not know the fire meditation or the prayers,but I still come to this place where the Baal Shem and the great Maggid came. I hope that's enough." And it was.
After another twenty years,Israel of Rishin was called to the task."I do not know the place,the fire,the meditation,or the prayers,but here,inside,sitting at table I can tell the story of how it used to go". The story had the same effect as the wilderness retreat,the fire meditation,and the prayers that came to Baal Shem Tov,the Maggid,and Rabbi Moshe Leib.
*You might say that this sequence shows a diminishing of living....or you can say it shows that the mystery of doing work takes many forms.