Passions and the Passionate - June 2018
The idea of being passionate about something is viewed as a positive thing in our society, whether it be politics, sports, the pro-life movement, the environment, etc... Our Orthodox Christian faith views this very differently.
In Orthodox Christianity, the passions are often used to mean sin, but this is a somewhat incorrect understanding.
The passions are those things that involve our emotions, for example lust, gluttony and anger. These are the passions that we think of the most but being passionate about something other than pure love for the Holy Trinity and other people is a passion as well.
Now it would seem to be understandable if we were only speaking of those things that contradict the teaching of the Church. It seems to be self-evident that being passionate, i.e. having a passion, for drinking or gambling is a sin. However, our faith goes further than that. We are called to be dispassionate about even those things that are good. In other words, even things that we view as positive, such as feeding the poor or having beautiful Church services, should be approached without any emotional attachment. We are even told to hold on loosely to our loved ones. Christ says that anyone who leaves home or family for the sake of the Kingdom will inherit everlasting life and will receive in turn a hundredfold.
This does not mean a hundred homes or new family members, but instead the fullness of joy and peace that only comes through placing our faith, our hope, our peace and yes, our passion in God alone. To Him who is able to satisfy all of our needs and rightly directed wants be the glory, worship and honor now and ever and unto the ages of ages.
+Love in Christ,