Maladies of the SoulThe Fathers on Evil ThoughtsMASI Study Days 20092009 Andriy Chirovsky
7 Deadly SinsCCC 1866: Vices can be classified according to the virtues they oppose, or also be linked to the capital sins which Christian experience has distinguished, following St. John Cassian and St. Gregory the Great. They are called "capital" because they engender other sins, other vices. [Cf. St. Gregory the Great, Moralia in Job, 31, 45: PL 76, 621A. ]1They are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia.
7 Deadly SinsCCC 1866: They are PrideAvariceEnvyWrathLustGluttonySloth or acedia.
Hieronymus Bosch 15c
Where did this list come from?Evagrius Ponticus (late 4th cent.)St. John Cassian ( his disciple)St. Gregory the Great (late 6th cent.)Medieval and later permutations
Evagrius, Praktikos #6 There are 8 general and basic categories of thoughts in which are included every thought. First is that of gluttony, then impurity, avarice, sadness, anger, acedia, vainglory, and last of all, pride.
Evagrius, Praktikos #6 It is not in our power to determine whether we are disturbed by these thoughts, but it 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.
The 8 Logismoi (Thoughts)GluttonyImpurity AvariceSadnessAngerAcediaVainglory Pride
Lets compare listsGluttonyImpurity AvariceSadnessAngerAcediaVainglory Pride
PrideAvariceEnvyWrathLustGluttonySloth or acedia.LogismoiDeadly sins
5 Stages of the Battle with ThoughtsAssault -Suggestion (no guilt here)Handling - BargainingConsent ( the beginning of sin)Struggle (may precede consent)Passion - captivity/obsession (Life-destroying)
Dealing with ThoughtsNepsis - Be aware of what you are thinkingSt. Maximus the Confessor:Thing, representation, passion -- all differ. Centuries on Love 3:42
Dealing with ThoughtsCustody of the heartSt. Gregory of Nyssa:Human beings have powers in the soul fashioned by God as instruments for them, but they have become dangerous to us because the mind has lost control over them. On the Making of Man 18;cf. On the Soul and Resurrection
Dealing with ThoughtsNotice them but let them goSt. Isaac the Syrian:What is human dispassion (apatheia)? It consists not in not feeling the passions, but in not welcoming them. -Ascetical Homilies 81
Dealing with ThoughtsDont do it yourself. Live within the Tradition (Liturgy)Do not fall into the delusion of trying to save yourself.