Gluttony: habitual greed, especially in regards to excessive eating.
Lust: A sexual desire for someone or a strong desire for something.
Avarice: Greed for wealth or material gain.
Anger: Feeling strongly annoyed, displeased or hostile to another person.
Dejection: being sad, depressed or low in spirits.
Listlessness: Lacking energy or enthusiasm feeling pleasure in one own achievements, sensing one’s own importance.
Pride: belief in one's own abilities that interferes with recognition of the grace of God
Temperance: moderation and self-restraint especially in regards to eating and drinking.
Chastity: Refraining from sexual relations with extramarital relationships.
Generosity: Freely giving of one’s resources and time and attention beyond what is strictly necessary.
Mildness: having a gentle disposition and not being easily provoked
Happiness: Feeling satisfied and content with what one has and has been given.
Diligence: being persistent and careful in ones activities.
Humility: having a modest view of your own importance.
What are the main
Why do we need to purify our Heart?
What are passions?
do passions develop into sin?
Our challenge is to overcome this reactive pattern so we can avoid sin and instead show a virtue such as mildness. To stop this kind of reaction we need to make a change of mind which in Greek is metanoia or translated as repentance. This is not always easy, but is an important task for our spiritual well being. These deep patterns must be broken and separated from automatic responses. The path to our salvation calls us to develop the capacity to control each of the passions.
The most basic of our
passions is our desire for food. Of course we cannot live without
food, so the body puts a high priority on this desire to meet its
basic need to maintain its life. This is a natural and good desire
God gave us for our well-being. There is nothing sinful about food
itself or our desire for it. But most of us end up eating for pleasure
and not just for the health of our body. This is why dieting is such
a hugh industry. Many of us are controlled by our appetites. We know
we should not have that first piece of chocolate cake or the second
one, but somehow we are captured by the delight it gives us even
though we know it is not what our body needs for good health. The
sin is when we are no longer in control of this desire for food.
It is when the attraction becomes stronger and stronger as we think
about it and find that we cannot stop our actions. This attraction
pulls us to over eat or to buy foods we cannot afford. This strong
attraction to food is why the Church Fathers put such an emphasis
on fasting. In their wisdom they knew that if we learn to control
this one passion, we will have the strength to deal with the others.
It is the natural first step in controlling our passions.
What are virtues?
What is meant by purity of heart?
how Saint Theophan the Recluse puts it:
When our Church Fathers tell us to purify our heart they mean to remove all our tendencies toward sin so our heart is pure and able to freely receive the work of the Holy Spirit. This is how Christ becomes our guiding force from within. One with a pure heart overcomes sin and is blessed by grace to live a virtuous life.