Saturday, March 19, 2011

St. Gregory Palamas

Let us continue in oneness of mind, bound together by peace one towards the other, and abstaining from that rage which delivers bodies and souls unto destruction. I beseech you brethren, if anyone has a complaint against another, let us forgive one another as Christ forgave us, that we may be always peaceful, not only in God's churches but at home and in the market place, and with one mind and one mouth glorify our Father in heaven. Apart from this evil catalog of deadly passions associated with pleasure and pain, there are others, which are neither painless nor pleasant, but have their origin in a coming together of opposites. They include sarcasm, flattery, deceit and hypocrisy. 

Do you see how subtly misleading and treacherous this world is, with how many evils it encompasses us, and by how many means it separates us from God? It makes us subject to countless passions and removes us in a variety of ways from Him Who is above all passion. That is why the Lord Himself said, "The whole world lieth in wickedness" (cf. 1 John 5: 19), and called the devil the prince of this world (John 12:31), because he is the ruler of the darkness of this age. Do not imagine that the evil one holds sway over heaven and earth and all Creation in between, and is given the name of prince of this world on that account - perish the thought! This is not the world that lies in wickedness. Only He Who has measured heaven with a span, according to the Prophet, and held the earth in a measure (cf. Isa. 40: 12), is the Creator of all. However, the misuse of Creation, the impassioned abuse of our free will, the world of unrighteousness, evil desire and pride, as the beloved disciple of Christ says, are not of the Father (cf. 1 John 2: 16). This is the world that is subject to wickedness, because of our misuse and mismanagement. It is over this world that Satan rules, over the many passions we have listed, which are brought about by our sin-loving will with the evil one's cooperation, and unless we free ourselves from this evil inclination, we shall make him our own absolute master. 

-- St. Gregory Palamas - Homily 33

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