Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

cowardice

2 Entries

If you pursue virtue in a monastery or coenobium, you are not likely to be attacked much by cowardice. But the man who spends his time in more solitary places should make every effort to avoid being overcome by that offspring of vainglory, that daughter of unbelief, cowardice. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), STEP 21: On Unmanly and Puerile Cowardice



These two passions of overbearingness and cowardice, though they appear to be opposites, are both caused by weakness.

Overbearingness pulls one upwards and is outwardly something startling and frightening, like some powerless bear, while cowardice flees like a chased dog.

No one who suffers from either of these two passions puts his trust in the Lord, and therefore he cannot stand firm in battle, whether he is overbearing or cowardly. REF:St. Peter Damaskos, "24 Discourses: Courage" - from G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, and Kallistos Ware, Trans., "The Philokalia -- Vol. III," (London: Faber and Faber, 1984), pp. 258.







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