St. Maximus the Confessor on Grudges


We’re in Holy Week, and I wish you all the greeting of Peace from God Our Father and Jesus Christ Our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Here at the Practical Catholic, I am having a wonderful time preparing to celebrate the most sorrowful death and the glorious resurrection of Our Lord.

In St. Maximus, be aware of the word passions, which in the entire Eastern Tradition means: The emotions that control you. Things like sexual desire, anger, envy, desire for material wealth, rejection, fear and some types of love. These emotions are always attempting to assert their control over the human person.

Passions are at their heart expressions of ego-centered behaviors and thoughts that separate the person from Christ-likeness. Passions can be rewritten for good, and so St. Maximus here encourages us to do that very thing by means of practicing graciousness to overcome rejection.

If you bear a grudge against anyone, pray for him and you will stop the passion in its tracks. By prayer you separate the hurt from the memory of the evil which he did you and in becoming loving and kind you completely obliterate passion from the soul. On the other hand, if someone else bears you a grudge, be generous and humble with him, treat him fairly, and you will deliver him from the passion

*This selection is from “Maximus Confessor: Selected Writings” translated by George C. Berthold


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