"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

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Immersed in Virtues

"A dispassionate soul is immersed in virtues as a passionate soul is in pleasures" ( St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent"). 

Man's life is the stage on which the free will of man is expressed before God and the divine will.  Putting to death the soul's passionate part makes man incapable of achieving the good. Christian conduct consists, not in this [putting to death the soul's passionate part], but in dedicating the capacities of man's soul to God. The evil use of unnatural desires turns man away from his only natural desire for God, the One ultimately yearned for. Consequently, dispassion cannot be understood as the denial of the passions, but their redirection toward the longing for God. The dispassionate man is not he who has mortified his soul's passionate aspect and has become unmoved and inactive in his godly habits, in his relationship with God and his disposition towards Him. Rather, the dispassionate man is he who has subordinated the soul's passionate aspects (the incensive and desiring faculties) to the nous (νοῦς) and has firmly oriented them towards God."

Anestis Keselopoulos, Passions and Virtues According To Saint Gregory Palamas (Saint Tikhon’s Seminary Press, South Canaan, PA, 2004) p. 170.

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