Some Thoughts On Anger

If I were to venture a guess as to the most commonly confessed passion that I hear in confessions, I would say that it is anger.  Just about everyone is angry.  According to many of the saints, anger and misdirected desire are the two main passions from which all vices and passions come.  The sources of anger can be varied, but I think there are two sources of anger that are most…

Growing Up In God

One of the difficult transitions or junctures of the spiritual life is the movement between what St. Isaac the Syrian calls the second and third degrees of knowledge.  Keep in mind that the language of degrees is metaphorical.  It describes spiritual experience and ways of encountering and knowing God.   Many of us have gone through seasons of our life in which we have striven with great intention and zeal to do…

Anger and Fear as Passions

There is something natural and healthy in our souls that St. Maximus the Confessor calls the “irascible aspect of the soul” and St. Basil the Great calls “temper” (at least in the English translations I am reading). This irascible aspect of the soul, or temper, when it is functioning in a healthy human being empowers the person do good and reject evil.  One might even say it is something like zeal. However,…