Gregory Palamas (1296–1359) was a monk of Mount Athos in Greece and later the archbishop of Thessaloniki, known as a preeminent theologian of Hesychasm. The teachings embodied in his writings defending Hesychasm against the attack of Barlaam are sometimes referred to as Palamism, and his followers as Palamites. Palamas is venerated as a Saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
- Anyone who considers himself guilty before God and repents must believe that the reproach and contempt of others towards him is just and to be endured.
- Homilies (Mount Tabor Publishing), p. 13
To the Most Reverend Nun Xenia (c. 1344)
The soul completely dominated by its desire for spiritual instruction is never sated.
It is because of this that Wisdom says of herself, 'Those who eat Me will still be hungry' (Eccles. 24:21); while the Lord, who has instilled this divine desire in the soul, says of Mary who chose 'what is best' that it will not be taken away from her (cf. Luke 10:42).
- p. 295
- As the separation of the soul from the body is the death of the body, so the separation of God from the soul is the death of the soul. And this death of the soul is the true death.
- p. 296
In Defence of Those who Devoutly Practise a Life of Stillness
- A great teacher has said that after the fall our inner being naturally adapts itself to outward forms. When, then, someone is striving to concentrate his intellect in himself so that it functions, not according to the direct form of movement but according to the circular, delusion-free form, how could he not gain immensely if, instead of letting his gaze flit hither and thither, he fixes it upon his chest or his navel as upon a point of support? Outwardly curling himself – so far as is possible – into the form of a circle, in conformity with the mode of action that he tries to establish in his intellect, he also, through this same position of his body, sends into his heart the power of the intellect that is dispersed outwardly when his gaze is turned outward. If the power of the noetic demon resides in the navel of the belly, since there the law of sin exercises its dominion and provides him with fodder, why should we not establish there also the law of the intellect that, armed with prayer, contends against that dominion (cf. Rom. 7:23)? Then the evil spirit expelled through our baptism – 'the water of regeneration' (Tit. 3:5) – will not return with seven other spirits more wicked than himself and again take up residence in us, so that 'the last state is worse than the first' (Luke 11:26).
- p. 338
Holy Hesychia: The Stillness that Knows God
- as translated by Robin Amis (Praxis Research Institute: 2016)
- The summit of evil, the crime most natural to the devil, pride, was born of knowledge. But if this is so, how can it be possible that all the passions result from ignorance? Does knowledge purify the psyche? Paul says: Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up (1 Corinthians 8:1).
- p. 33
- Do you see? There exists a kind of knowledge that is without love. It does not purify the psyche in any way, but kills it, as it lacks the love that is the head, the body, and very root of all virtue.
- p. 33
Predestination? On Why God Made Those Who Would Perish
- as translated by Christopher Veniamin
- How can someone have the freedom to choose and the power to act freely, unless he were able to be evil, should he so wish?
- Anyone who states that God should not have made those people who will be punished, is also saying that He should not have made those who will be saved, or any rational and free beings at all.
- Let us take off our life’s complex covering of rapacity and greed, since it is ugly in God’s sight and condemned, and let us put on, as the elect of God, compassion, humility, modesty and meekness.
The Parables of Jesus: Sermons by Saint Gregory Palamas
- as translated by Christopher Veniamin
- Anybody who thinks he is something great, even before God, is rightly abandoned by God, as one who thinks that he does not need His help.
- Thanksgiving for the benefits received from God is made acceptable by humility and not looking down on those who lack them. It is rendered unacceptable, however, by being conceited, as if those benefits resulted from our own efforts and knowledge, and by condemning those who have not received them.
- Famine means being deprived of and desiring necessary food. But there is something worse and more wretched than this famine: when someone is deprived of the necessary means of salvation and does not perceive his misfortune, having no desire to be saved.
- Some people, because their minds have gone so long without nourishment, lose their desire to eat and so do not notice the harm they are suffering.