Senseless passion of anger


Now let us say something about the senseless passion of anger, which ravages, confuses and darkens every soul and, when it is active, makes those in whom it is easily and quickly aroused behave like beasts.

This passion is strengthened particularly by pride, and so long as it is so strengthened it cannot be destroyed.

While the diabolical tree of bitterness, anger and wrath has its roots kept moist by the foul water of pride, it blossoms and thrives and produces quantities of rotten fruit.
Thus the structure of evil in the soul is impossible to destroy so long as it is rooted firmly in pride.

Do you want this tree of disorder - I mean the passion of bitterness, anger and wrath - to dry up within you and become barren, so that with the axe of the Spirit it may be 'hewn down and cast into the fire' together with every other vice (Matthew 3:10)?

Do you want the destruction of this house of evil which the devil builds in your soul by continually using as stones various plausible or senseless pretexts, whether material or mental, and by constructing its foundations out of thoughts of pride?

If this is what you really want, keep the humility of the Lord in your heart and never forget it.

+ St. Mark the Ascetic
Letter to Nicolas the Solitary
from The Philokalia

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