Sunday, August 9, 2015


     "The one who lusts after earthly things lusts after food, or what serves the lower passions, or human applause, or money, or something else associated with them.  And unless the mind can find something better than these to which it can transfer its desire [(εἰ μή τι τούτων εὕρῃ κρεῖττον ὁ νοῦς, ἐφ᾿ ᾧ τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν μετενέγκῃ)], it will not be completely persuaded to disdain [(καταφρονεῖν . . . πεισθῇ)] them. . . .
     "Knowledge of divine things without passion [(Ἠ ἄνευ πάθους τῶν Θείων γνῶσις)] does not persuade the mind to disdain [(πείθει . . . καταφρονεῖν)] material things completely, but rather resembles the mere thought of a thing of sense.  Thus one finds many men with considerable knowledge who yet wallow in the passions of the flesh like pigs in mud [(καὶ ἐν τοῖς τῆς σαρκὸς πάθεσι δίκην χοίρων ἐν βορβόρῳ κυλινδουμένους)]. . . .
     ". . . Hence there is a need for the blessed passion of holy love [(τοῦ μακαρίου πάθους τῆς ἁγίας ἀγάπης)], which binds [(συνδεσμούσης)] the mind to spiritual realities and persuades it to prefer [(πειθούσης προτιμᾶν)] the immaterial to the material and intelligible and divine things to those of sense."

     Maximus the Confessor, Four hundred chapters on love 3.64, 66, & 67, trans. George C. Berthold, in Maximus Confessor:  selected writings,Classics of Western spirituality (New York:  Paulist Press, 1985), 70.  Capitoli sulla carità, ed. Aldo Ceresa-Gastaldo, Verba seniorum n.s. 3 (Roma : Editrice Studium, 1963), 174 & 176; PG 90, col. .

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