"Passions are perversions of natural impulses... [and] have a distinct root. The Fathers identify this root as a singular perversion of the will: that of arrogance, of pride... and Fathers identify a chief virtue to combat this chief passion: namely, obedience, which engenders the humility that conquers pride ." ~ Father Deacon Matthew



Content Summary

Discussion opens with an in-depth examination of man's pre-fall ineffable state of glory in he Garden and painstaking analysis of the myriad infections mankind contracted when single-minded focus on movement toward God became disrupted; the heart's illnesses, darkening of the nous, evil thoughts, and passions are topics of profound scrutiny.

The text then explores cures that have been established by our Holy Eastern Orthodox Church and its spiritual physicians (i.e., the Church Fathers); ascetic practice, prayer, sacraments, and extensive quotations from the Church Fathers comprise the essence of this discourse.

The final area of conversation presents the Jesus Prayer ("Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.") as our ultimate curative. The historical background of the Prayer has been covered and comprehensive treatment on the Prayer of the Heart resides in this component of Spiritual Alchemy; thus, an excellent understanding of this ancient medicant will be possessed.