"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
C. S. Lewis

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Passions Within

“It may happen that a man sitting in solitude and silence is at peace. But there comes another brother, who in talking says something unpleasant. The man is at once disturbed and says afterwards: ‘If he had not come to disturb me, I would not have sinned.’ What a ridiculous argument! Did he who spoke to him introduce the passion into him? He only called to the surface the passion that was already there; so now instead of bitterness against his brother, the man should repent of his own passion and blame himself. Such a man is like a rotten loaf of bread, which looks alright outside, but inside is moldy, so that if anyone breaks it its rottenness appears. Or he is like a clean vessel filled inside with rotten stench, so that whoever opens it will at once release this stench. In the same way this man was living, as it seemed to him, at peace, unaware of the passion inside him. Then the brother said one word to him and revealed the rot concealed within him. So if he wants to be granted mercy he must repent, blaming himself. Only thus will he achieve purity and make progress. As to the brother, he should indeed thank him for having been so useful.” 

St. Abba Dorotheos, Directions on Spiritual Training, 46, Early Fathers From the Philokalia, Faber: London, 1954, p. 166

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