Placing Our Passions Behind Us

The dispassionate man no longer lives himself, but it is Christ Who lives in him. –St. John of the Ladder

We have worked our way up the steps of the ladder to the penultimate one. We have recognized the passions and sources of passions that work us up emotionally and detract from our growth. We have looked at the virtues and worked on developing habits so that we can lead a virtuous life.

At the end of stillness and prayer we can find what John calls dispassion. Another word we could use is calm. We are no longer driven by passions like a rudderless ship on the ocean in a storm. We can make decisions on our own. We can discern the will of God in all situations.

John says we make the soul the master of all the senses keeping our souls continually in the presence of the Lord.

Our politics today are more passionate and divisive than almost any time I can remember–at least since the 50s. We have too many people in our churches working up such passions about determining whom to leave out of church rather than working to bring people in.

Someone said only recently that old refrain, “Society calls us hate-mongers when we speak up against sin. It doesn’t realize that we only hate the sin, not the sinner.” To which I say, it certainly doesn’t look or sound like it. If we are working on our spiritual formation, we are more worried about our own sins, which are many, rather than pointing out the speck in the other’s eye.

Jesus certainly never taught that we should go around like the Pharisees of his day constantly pointing out the faults and sins of others. That never sounds loving and inviting.

Blessed dispassion raises the poor mind from earth to heaven, raises the poor beggar from the dunghill of passion.

One Response to “Placing Our Passions Behind Us”

  1. josephruizjr Says:

    Well said, if we “lived” the 10 commandments we wouldn’t have to get worked up about “displaying them” 😉

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