Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The "Passions"

In worship this past week, we talked about where temptations come from - not an external source per se, but, as James tells us, "...each person is tempted when he is lurned and enticed by his own desire" (1:14).  The idea of disordered passions is not something I had really given much thought to, yet it makes a great deal of sense in our Lenten context.
Apparently, the Orthodox tradition is well out ahead of me.  For Lent this year, I'm reading, "First Fruits of Prayer - A Forty-Day Journey Through the Canon of St. Andrew," which is a Orthodox litany of confession by St. Andrew.  In it, he writes this, some food for thought:

I have fallen beneath the painful burden of the passions and the corruption of material things; and I am hard pressed by the enemy.  Instead of freedom from possessions, O Savior, I have pursued a life in love with material things; and now I wear a heavy yoke....I hav cared only for the outward adornment, and neglected that which is within - the tabernacle fashioned by God.  With my lustful desires I have formed within myself the deformity of the passions and disfigured the beauty of my mind.  I have discolored with the passions the first beauty of the image, O Savior.  But seek me, as once Thou hast sought the lost coin, and find me.

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