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The Byzantines took for granted that what had been said by the Fathers was correct and complete, and they saw their own task as that of applying this inherited wisdom to the issues at hand. Consequently, even a step of great originality was rarely heralded as such. Behind this conservatism there lay also a deeper cause, namely the apophaticism at the root of the entire tradition. What is the point of spinning out words about God when He can be known only through practice? On such a view theology, however complex it may become, is ultimately simply the enterprise of preserving “the faith once delivered to the saints.” To claim (as does Aquinas, for instance) that it is a science in the Aristotelian sense – one that has God as its subject matter – would have struck the Byzantines as strangely pretentious.
David Bradshaw Aristotle East and West. Chapter 9, page 221

We usually associate passions with emotions and with intensity in feelings, and as something good and human, but they are not the same.
Passions are actually our “falling short of” the real love and of any feelings in general.

A passion it’s the empty part of a half-emotion, the lie in a half-true.
True emotions are manifestations of God in us through His grace.

… Christ said, ‘Whoever shall say to his brother “You fool” shall be guilty enough to go to the hell of fire’ (Mt. 5:22). If, then, you can eradicate this evil, calling down upon your soul the benediction of gentleness, then glorify Christ, the teacher and ministrant of every virtue, without whom, as we have been taught, we can do nothing good. But if you are unable to bridle your temper, censure yourself whenever you lose it, and repent before God and before anyone to whom you have spoken or have acted evilly. If you repent at the inception of sin you will not commit the sin itself; but if you feel no pang in committing minor offenses you will through them fall into major transgressions.
From St. Gregory Palamas (The Philokalia Vol. 4; Faber and Faber pg. 329)

(Source: heroinscarlet)


"I remember a certain Orthodox foreigner who came for a long stay in the Monastery. The Staretz made a profound impression on him.  He grew fond of him and often went to see him.  The other monks knew of this, and one day, meeting the foreigner in a corridor of the Monastery, Hieromonk N. of the Council of Elders, one of the most influential members of the Community, remarked to the visitor, 

'I can't understand how a scholar like you can take pleasure in going to see Father Silouan, an illiterate peasant.  Haven't we anybody cleverer than that?'

'It needs a 'scholar' to understand Father Silouan,' was the rather pained reply.

Why ‘educated men’ revered and went to see Staretz Silouan remained a mystery to this same Father N., and in conversation with Father Methodios, who ran the Monastery bookshop for many years, he remarked,

'I wonder why they go to him. After all, he reads nothing.'
'Reads nothing but fulfills everything, while others read a lot and fulfill nothing,' was Father Methodios' comment.”

-St. Silouan the Athonite by Archimandrite Sophrony, Pg. 74


"Father Silouan’s attitude towards those who differed from him was characterized by a sincere desire to see what was good in them, and not to offend them in anything they held sacred.  He always remained himself; he was utterly convinced that ‘salvation lies in Christ-like humility’, and by virtue of this humility he strove with his whole soul to interpret every man at his best."

-St. Silouan the Athonite by Archimandrite Sophrony, Pg. 64

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