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palamas2St. Gregory Palamas says that passions develop from early childhood in the following order. First come the passions of the appetitive part of the soul, that is, possessiveness and greed. Little children want to grasp things, and when they get somewhat older they want money. Later, “with the advance of age”, the passions of the love of glory develop. Love of glory is seen in two forms. The first is worldly love of glory, which aims at “cosmetics and rich dress” and the second is that self-esteem which attacks the righteous and manifests itself in conceit and hypocrisy, through which the enemy contrives to scatter the soul’s spiritual wealth. Finally, after possessiveness and love of glory, self-indulgence develops – that is, gluttony “from which comes every sort of uncleanness of the flesh”. At the same time St. Gregory Palamas makes an interesting observation. Although self-indulgence “and natural impulses towards procreation mark babies at the breast”, yet “they are not signs of a sick soul”, the natural passions being blameless, since they were created by the good God “in order that through them we might walk in good works”. Passion is evil “when we make provision for the flesh to fulfil its lusts”. So to sum up, we point out that according to St. Gregory, the passions of possessiveness and greed develop in babies, the passions of the love of glory develop in childhood, and later come the passions of self-indulgence.

—By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos

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