September 12, 2021

Galatians 6:14 in Light of the Fathers of the "Philokalia"

"But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."

- Paul the Apostle (Galatians 6:14)

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76. A  man  who  through  ascetic  effort  withers  the  flower  of  the  flesh,  and  cuts  off  all  its desires, bears in his mortal flesh the marks of the Lord (cf. Gal. 6:17).  

77. The  hardships  of  the  ascetic  life  end  in  the  repose  of  dispassion,  while  soft  ways  of living breed shameful passions.  

- St Theodoros the Great Ascetic (A Century of Spiritual Texts)

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115. Those to whom the world is crucified are not the same as those who are crucified to the world (cf. Gal. 6:14). For the first, the nails are fasting and vigils; for the second, they are to shed every possession and to be treated with contempt. Without the second, the sufferings involved in the first are useless.  

- Ilias the Presbyter (A Gnomic Anthology Part IV)

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46. He who wholeheartedly hates and renounces 'the desire of the fallen self, the desire of the eyes, and the false pretentions of this life' (1 John 2:16) - that whole 'world of iniquity' (Jas. 3:6) through the love of which we become the enemies of God (cf. Jas. 4:4) - has crucified the world to  himself  and  himself  to  the  world:  he  has  destroyed  in  his  flesh  the  enmity  between  God  and his  soul,  and  has  made  peace  between  the  two  (cf.  Eph.  2:15).  For  he  who  has  died  to  these things through effacing the will of the flesh has reconciled himself to God. He has eradicated the enmity  of  this  world  by  obliterating  sensual  pleasure  through  a  life  crucified  to  the  world,  and has  embraced  friendship  with  Jesus.  He  is  no  longer  God's  enemy  because  of  his  love  for  the world,  but  is  a  friend  of  God,  crucified  to  the  world  and  able  to  say,  'The  world  is  crucified  to me, and I to the world' (Gal. 6:14).

- Nikitas Stithatos (On the Practice of the Virtues: One Hundred Texts)

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7. Paul not only says, “The world is crucified to me”, but adds, “and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14). ... The first mystery of the Cross is flight from the world, and parting from our relatives according to the flesh, if they are a hindrance to piety and a devout life, and training our body, which Paul tells us is of some value (I Tim. 4:8). In these ways the world and sin are crucified to us, once we have fled from them. According to the second mystery of the Cross, however, we are crucified to the world and the passions, once they have fled from us. It is not of course possible for them to leave us completely and not be at work in our thoughts, unless we attain too contemplation of God. When, through action, we approach contemplation and cultivate and cleanse our inner man, searching for the divine treasure which we ourselves have hidden, and considering the kingdom of god within us, then it is that we crucify ourselves to the world and the passions. Through meditation of this a certain warmth is born in our heart, which chases away evil thoughts like flies, instills spiritual peace and consolation in our soul, and bestows sanctification on our body.

- Gregory Palamas (Homily on the Cross)