The Teaching of Evagrius Ponticus on Anger and Meekness”; By Gabriel Bunge; Translated from the German by Anthony P. Gythiel
Loaned to me by a sister-in-Christ, this book is a real gem. It is impossible to summarize it here but I offer these few quotes to whet your appetite and for inspiration. This book has been a true blessing as I’ve boggled my way through Lent to Pascha.
- If vain expectations are disappointed…and this disappointment was prepared for the disciples by their suffering Messiah Jesus – then anger appears and the wounded love of self turns into hatred for the ‘one who failed’ … (32)
- [Evil] arises through the perversion of a being that is good in itself, and it subsists only as long as this perversion continues. (35) We create evil by the misuse of the ontologically good nature with which we were created.
- Evagrius describes…an experience which no doubt everyone has had once; the almost obsessive fixation on a object – or worse, on a particular person who has actually or allegedly insulted us and away from whom one cannot tear one’s thoughts precisely during prayer. Under such circumstances, prayer becomes a caricature… (61).
- If your brother irritates you, lead him into your house, and do not hesitate to go into his, but eat your morsel with him. For in doing this, you will deliver your soul and there will be no stumbling block for you at the hour of prayer (85).
- We must keep close watch over our heart and may ‘not stand still’ at the promptings of the demons, for ‘it is not in our power to determine whether we are disturbed by these [tempting thoughts of the demons], bu tit is up to us to decide if they are to linger within us or not, and whether or not they are to stir up our passions.’ This depends indeed on our own free ‘consent’ (88).
- Patience and psalmody calm an assault [of anger] (89).