December 1

There are eight ruling passions: gluttony, avarice and self-esteem–the three principle passions; and unchastity, anger, dejection, listlessness and arrogance–the five subordinate passions. In the same way, among the virtues opposed to these there are three that are all-embracing, namely, total shedding of possessions, self-control and humility, and five deriving from them, namely, purity, gentleness, joy, courage, and self-belittlement–and then come all the other virtues.

To study and recognize the power, action and special flavor of each virtue and vice is not within the competence of everyone who wishes to do so; it is the prerogative of those who practice and experience the virtues actively and consciously and who receive from the Holy Spirit the gifts of cognitive insight and discrimination.

~St Gregory of Sinai

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