Philokalia Volume 2

St Maximus the Confessor, blog 3, Discussing Problem of Self Love

In his day, St Maximus faced problems of definition when describing the Trinity and the Incarnation. Today we have a different problem. Rather than letting the Scriptures or the Church Fathers define key spiritual words such as love, we understand concepts like love using definitions formulated by psychologists. Sadly, we do not even realize when there is discordance between them. In nearly all of the writings of St Maximus, self-love and perfect love are polar opposites, and self-love is the mother of all passions and vices. […]

Philokalia Volume 2

St Maximus the Confessor, blog 2, Centuries of Theology and Lords Prayer

We seek deification in the Lord’s Prayer, the model prayer, which starts out, Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed by Thy Name, so we are exhorted to Love God, and understand how we stand in His Kingdom, and continues as we pray how we should live our lives, repenting of all, forgiving everyone, no exceptions. Once we understand how we must repent of all our transgressions, no exceptions, and forgive everyone, so God will forgive us, and not withhold forgiveness from anyone, lest God withholds His forgiveness of us[9], then we can better listen to the teachings of St Maximus against self-love, this affections of one’s self that is the root of all evil, the desperate lust to pleasure, often mere moments of pleasure that often leads to years of suffering for us and those around us. This self-love and lust for pleasure to avoid life’s pain instead tyrannizes the lives of those close to us. […]

Philokalia Volume 2

St Maximus the Confessor, Blog 1

St Maximus teaches us that if we truly Love God, this love is a great blessing that binds God and man together, and as much as is possible for man, Christ incarnate, the perfect deified man, will manifest Himself in the deified man to God. St. Maximus says this clearer in another writing: “Love makes man god, and reveals and manifests God as man, through the single and identical purpose and activity of the will of both.” […]

Catholic Catechism

Do Not Covet, Do Not Envy, Blog 1, Early Church Fathers and Others

St Gregory Palamas teaches us that the command not to covet is not only a negative THOU SHALT NOT command but is more a SHALL positive command, that we shall be generous and show charity and lend to our less fortunate neighbor, and to watch after our neighbor’s interests, returning to him lost items you may find.  “Covetousness, conceived in the soul, produces sin; and sin, when committed, results in death (James 1:5).  Refrain from coveting what belongs to others and avoid filching things out of greediness.  Rather you should give from what you possess to whoever asks of you, and you should, as much as you can, be charitable to whoever is in need of charity, and you should not refuse whoever wants to borrow from you (Matthew 5:42).  Should you find some lost article, you should keep it for its owner, even if the owner is hostile towards you, perhaps your kindness will change him and your kindness will overcome evil, as Christ commands.” […]