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“To sin is to miss the mark, to fail to realize one's vocation and destiny. Sin brings disorder and fragmentation. It diminishes life and causes the most pure and most noble parts of our nature to end up as passions, i.e., faculties and impulses that have become distorted, spoiled, violated and finally alien to the true self…we have responsibilities to one another and, of course, to God. When we sin, or relationship to God and to others distorted. Sin is ultimately alienation from God, from our fellow human beings, and from our own true self which is created in God's image and likeness.” (Rev. Alkiviadis Calivas, Rev. Fr. Thomas Fitzgerald)

“…our sins and passions are the manifestation of us turning things toward ourselves in order to appease our will, our insatiable desires, and even at times our wicked intentions. But Christianity is about conforming to Christ, to His commandments, and taking the necessary steps toward turning ourselves away from the world, from the easy path that leads to the wide gate—from sin and the passions, in other words—and toward the straight and narrow path that leads to life (Matt. 7: 14).” (Constantina R. Palmer)

“True necessity is not passion, nor is it driven by the passions. We need to eat. We need to be clothed. We need shelter. We need family and friendship. We need work. We need meaning. We need love. We need beauty and transcendence. None of these things are passions, though the passions can easily distort them. The monastic life is, in many ways, a life reduced to necessity. It seems that living within the range of necessity makes it possible to discover the “one thing needful.” It deeply assists, as well, in discovering the truth of our identity. The soul is not the product of passions, but the image of God. To see the soul clearly, without distortion, is to see the face of God, or, at least, its reflection.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“How then do we break the tyranny of the passions? According to Saint Maximos the Confessor, such freedom comes only from the Holy Spirit. We must love and practice self-control by “first curbing passions of the soul and . . . second, those of the body”…Our desires must be surrendered one by one until we reach what the Fathers call dispassion. We steadily subdue the passions with the help of the life-giving Spirit, receiving in return the peace of soul that equips us for those seasons when we shall be asked to witness – when persecution of the faith will require a stand. The Lord gives us words and wisdom that no adversary can contradict or silence (Lk 21:13-15).” (Dynamis 12/8/2020)

“Strife and contention are predominant in human society…What then is the source of human contention in human society?  The apostle’s penetrating insight discloses that the cause is found in the “desires for pleasure” (James 4:1). But the term that this phrase translates has a broader meaning than this phrase suggests. It refers to sensual gratifications, that is, insatiable lusts…James says that these passions “war in your members”…He does not mean that the cravings set different parts of the body against each other. Rather the passions tear up our psyches with internal conflict as they compete with one another. Outer conflict, therefore, begins with inner turmoil. Humans project the warfare within by making war on the world around them…the struggle with the passions is internal.  But it has external consequences for how we live in this world.  The Lord’s call for us to be peacemakers is one of many motives for us to redouble our spiritual labor in the Spirit to overcome the passions. It is good reason to replace the worldly desires with the heavenly virtues that are the characteristics of peacemakers.” (Fr. Basil)

#RevAlkiviadisCalivas #RevFrThomasFitzgerald #ConstantinaRPalmer #FatherStephenFreeman #Dynamis #FrBasil

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