The battle against the passions is the beginning and end of every struggle in this life. While those concerned only with the battles of politics and of the flesh focus on the various “-isms” of the world, they miss the greatest struggle of all, the internal one. The world should be understood and defined as the collection of the various passions that keep both the individual and the folk as a whole slaves to the forces of darkness and our own selfish impulses.
Without Christ at the center of our lives and our struggle for righteousness, Truth, and justice we will find ourselves woefully inadequate to make even one step in the direction of victory. With every plan and ideology that is based on the things that will one day die, we are simply beautifying the tombstone of our people while we watch the reapers digging the grave in which to throw our friends, our family, and ourselves.
We find throughout Scripture and human history that every time a people went from faithfulness to believing in their own power and abandoning God, that chastisement would soon follow. The Traditionalist movement does not need a new mantra, a new “plan”, or a slick angle, what we need is to turn towards God in an effort to overcome our own sinful passions.
The Bible tells us that “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12
The world, the various passions and sinful desires that corrupt our souls, our people and all nations, is at war with us. While the world has many amusements and may at times seem to be our friend, …it is not, for the unconquered passions are the wellspring of everything that we desire to stop.
The passions from which all sin comes from can be found in gluttony, fornication, covetousness, anger, dejection, despondency, vainglory, and pride. These passions when let loose are the building blocks of the death of the individual and of a nation.
This can be easily found in the example of declining European demographics, an issue that many in the Traditionalist movement care about and are attempting to fight. Abortion, a lack of stable married families, and couples putting off having kids for financial reasons are all due to human weakness and failure, giving into the temptations of our passions and siding with the world instead of with God and His plan for organic society.
When the world becomes our master, it is no surprise that having children and families becomes a low priority on our “To Do” lists.”
Why have children when instead we could have a beach house or buy that fancy new car?
Why settle down with a wife or husband when the hookup culture and endless pornography seems so inviting, physical pleasure without commitment or risk.
The mantra of the world and the passions is “Do what makes you happy” and, like a drug addict, so many millions of people continue to chase the dragon of happiness, but are never able to find it.
While capitalists, bankers, and organized Jewry might have malicious intent when it comes to promoting degeneracy, greed, hatred, and secularism, it is we who support them by giving in to our temptations. If we refused to buy into the materialistic worldview, all the advertisements, celebrity endorsements, and corrupted media moguls in the world would be unable to persuade us to betray Faith, family and folk in place of attaining material trinkets and toys as our people have done now for decades.
The battle begins and ends with us as individuals and as families deciding that “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
The world and our passions are liars, for these lies come from the Prince of Lies, Satan himself. The unhappiest people in the world I have ever met are those who tout the idea of striving endlessly for pleasure and happiness. Happiness is fleeting and thus you must always be searching to find the next high, the next big thing, another distraction from the pit of emptiness that consumes you. As Saint Innocent of Alaska once said “Every individual instinctively strives for happiness. This desire has been implanted in our nature by the Creator Himself, and therefore it is not sinful. But it is important to understand that in this temporary life it is impossible to find full happiness, because that comes from God and cannot be attained without Him. Only He, who is the ultimate Good and the source of all good, can quench our thirst for happiness.”
The various passions are the root from which the decline of European civilization sprouts, and that is why we cannot simply trim the branches of this wicked tree, we must uproot our passions and their various causes if we are to find joy, security, and a future for our people. This war against the passions begins with the two greatest weapons in our arsenal, prayer and fasting.
Prayer is done both by the individual for his or her own personal salvation, but also by the nation as a whole. Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica wrote that prayer “is of great significance if there is a person who truly prays in a family. Prayer attracts God’s Grace and all the members of the family feel it, even those whose hearts have grown cold. Pray always.” If we understand that a nation is simply the extended organic family of a folk, then we must see that conquering our own personal sins and the sins of our entire people must be done through constant prayer.
Prayer is the food of the soul that nurtures the spiritual side of the individual and brings us closer to God. If a man or woman is learning to constantly pray, the power of God will begin to break down the walls around the heart that the passions have erected. The whispers of temptation becomes softer and softer in the mind and heart of a Christian as we become more oriented towards the will of God. Thus the way that we begin to overcome the passions and to crucify our addiction to the world is by making prayer an important part of our lives as individuals, as families, and as a people.
It is often misunderstood in the West that prayer simply should be limited to specific times in Church or be done only by priests or monastics, but prayer should be the focus for every Christian to learn how to do it constantly in our hearts. As St. Gregory of Palamas said “Let not one think, my fellow Christian, that only priests and monks need to pray without ceasing and not laymen No, no; every Christian without exception ought to dwell always in prayer.” This is where the Jesus Prayer can come into an important role in the life of a Christian. The simple prayer “Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner” can be repeated silently or under one’s breathe in any situation, from standing in line at the store to filling out TPS reports at work. Constantly working to reorient ourselves through prayer towards the will of God will bludgeon the passions into submission, thus helping us overcome the things that keep us in bondage to the forces of modernity and of the world.
Fasting is another way to work to crucify the passions and sinful desires inside ourselves. When the world tells us that we should constantly be seeking endless material wealth, a never ending stream of food and drink, and physical comforts, fasting offers us an ability to fully reject the worldly and instead focus ourselves on the supernatural and the things that truly matter.
When we mortify our passion for food, drink, and physical comforts, it quiets the voices of temptation of greed, gluttony, and pride and allows us to hear the will of God. When our lives are no longer about believing we are entitled to constant pleasure in the world and instead look forwards a humble life of sacrifice and a desire to follow the example of Christ in all things we will become immune to the temptations of demons and the will of our passions and the world.
Prayer and fasting are how to truly put our Christian faith into practice, to show God and the world that we do not just talk the talk, but desire to walk the walk of righteousness, love, sacrifice, and humility. “In the man who only theorizes about faith, there is a great deal of room for the demon. But in the man who gives himself to sincere prayer and fasting, there is only the narrowest space for the demon, and he must flee from such a man.” – St. Nikolai Velimirovic
Christians must view ourselves as a part of the Church Militant, soldiers of the cross who are doing our tour of duty in the world, but doing the work of Christ in all things. The battle against the passions begins by following what Christ commanded us to do, embracing prayer, fasting, faithfulness, and practicing love to all those we come across.
While the world may scoff at those who turn away from it, it is only by turning away from it that we can save ourselves, our families, and our extended family; our folk. By crying out “Death to the world!” we renounce all of the lies that Satan has told us to subvert our own journey towards salvation.
We must reject the popular culture and the values of the world, and our own personal passions, in order to truly become warriors for Christ. If we do this, regardless if we win politically, we will be victorious. To win the spiritual battle and to run the race of this life with Faith, love and humility is to ensure victory for our people in the one thing that matters, the battle for salvation.
Saint Nikolai Velimirovich told the Serbian people a message that all European Christians should listen to “God destined your land to be a bulwark, not of something small and insignificant, or narrow and passing, but to be a bulwark of eternal Christendom… On the Day of Universal Reckoning all the tears of your people will be made manifest, all their wounds counted, all their blood measured, all their sacrifices calculated. And all will be repaid three-fold and a thousand-fold to those who are found worthy, and eternal life will be granted to them.”
It is time to reject the world and the lies that it tells us and to wage the inner crusade against our passions. Death to the world and all of its traps that hold us as prisoners. This is a battle for the very souls of Europe and her children, it is time we begin fighting it with all of our strength. Nothing we give up in this world will be of concern, for the inheritance we will gain from our Eternal Father will be beyond our comprehension. Sacrifice, pray, fast and always stand for what is right. Deus vult!