Monday, April 4, 2011

No Passion is too Small

There is no Passion that is too small. All must be controlled.
Saint Theophan says,
No matter how small or weak a passion appears, it is necessary to regard it as if it were the largest and most powerful.
How do we go about driving them out?  Saint Theophan tells us this is the proper use of our anger.


He says,
How can you drive them out? Through inducing wrath that is hostile to them, or by getting angry within yourself against it as quickly as possible.
A passion cannot be sustained without your inner support.  So when you rise up against it in a strong way it is destroyed and its strength vanishes.  The slightest sympathy towards it will sustain it.


Prophet David says in the Psalms,
Be angry, and sin not (Ps 4:5).  
In other words be angry at the passion and then you will not sin. As soon as you detect even the smallest passion, rise up against it with strength.  Realize that this is an attack on your relationship with God.  Its action separates you from Him. Use your anger in a constructive way to aid you in coming closer to God.


Reference: The Spiritual Life, pp 233-236

4 comments:

  1. This is really short and to the point. Thanks so much!

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  2. Fr Dn, how can I avoid messing up my psychological health while using this method? It's probably because I didn't have a spiritual guide when I was used it, but I found that using anger against the passions led me to me feel self-hate, stress, and heavy guilt. Also, I remember that Elder Porphyrios said not to bother with fighting the passions but cultivating the virtues. How can this be done alongside this advice?

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  3. It is really important to avoid self hate. Remember we are engaged in spiritual warfare and the enemy is the devil and not ourselves. Also we are of a fallen nature and are healed through our relationship with Jesus Christ. We must have a balanced spiritual program hat involves fasts, prayers, partcipation in Sacraments (especially holy communion and confession) and reading of Scripture and the wisdom of the Holy Fathers. It is also essential to have a spiritual father to guide you to help you with te issue you describe.
    Direct you anger agent te passions to the devil and ask for God's help to master the passion under attack. Remember you are one of His children and Zhe has unlimited love for you and wants you to be united with Him. Many passion take time to master due to our weak nature so you also have to have humility and patience. Remember it is Grace working in you that will bring you victory.

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  4. Thank you for such a prompt reply. This has helped me a lot. Thanks.

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