Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Art of Dying to the World

“The world is crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Gal. 6:14)

Our fathers, having crucified the world to themselves by renouncing all in following Christ, gave themselves up to asceticism and crucified themselves to the world. And we think that we have crucified the world to ourselves just because we have come to the Church. But we do not want to crucify ourselves to the world, for we love its pleasures, we are attached to it, and are interested in its glory; we are attached to food and clothing. If we have any good working tools, we are attached to them too, and we allow some trifling tool to produce worldly attachment in us, as said Abba Zosimus. We think that by simply becoming Orthodox Christians we have magically left everything worldly. Yet for the sake of fiddling things we fill ourselves with attachments. This comes from our great stupidity in attaching ourselves to paltry and trivial things to gratify our passions…

… the passions are the following: love of riches, desire for possessions, bodily pleasure, love of honor which gives rise to envy, lust for power, arrogance and pride of position, the craving to adorn oneself with luxurious clothes and vain ornaments, the itch for human glory which is a source of rancor and resentment, and physical fear. See for which of these passions you are alive, then you will know how far you are alive and tied to the world, and how far you are dead and detached from it….

~St. Ignatius Brianchaninov