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“There are certain diseases–you might call them spiritual birth defects–with which we are all born. They are a part of being mortal (subject to death). They are not our original true nature, but have come upon us because of the fall of Adam and Eve from Paradise. Jesus came to heal these birth defects of ours, to deliver us from them and the death that goes with them, and to restore in us the spiritual nature we were created to have.

“We have two natures, you see: (1) the nature we were created with, which is the nature to which Christ restores us; and (2) the nature we are born with, which is the nature of the fallen Adam and Eve, in need of healing and redemption by God…”

“The passion that attacks our soul’s thinking power is called Pride. It blinds us to the reality of who we are and who God is. It’s a presumption resulting from ignorance of oneself and of God. Scripture calls it ‘blindness,’ or ‘foolishness’ (If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch [Matt. 15:14]; and, The fool has said in his heart, There is no God [Ps. 14:1]…”

“The passion that attacks our excitable power is ‘the passion of’ Self-Love. It produces a kind of feverish lust to indulge and satisfy the appetites of our physical senses, a constant craving for sensual indulgences…”

“The passion that strikes the ‘desiring part’ of our souls, our wills, is Vainglory (’empty glory,’ or vanity). It puts into our will addictions to unnatural desires that act like drugs on us…”

“The three passions through which Adam and Eve fell were: (1) Self-Love, their appetite for the forbidden fruit; (2) Vainglory, wanting to be adorned with divine knowledge, to make them seem to be as gods; and (3) Pride, ignorantly thinking they’d be winners by disregarding God’s rules and taking God’s place, becoming their own gods and establishing their own rules in Paradise…”

“These, then are the three basic passions we all have, our spiritual birth defects. Never think that you can tackle them on your own–just read all about them, decide not to have them, and dump them. Thinking that way will only disappoint you. The passions are not behavioral faults that anybody can correct.. They are diseases of our spiritual system. And you can’t get rid of them yourself, any more than you can reach in with your own fingers and pull bacteria out of your bloodstream.

“Prayer, and prayer alone, according to all our great counselors through the ages, cleans passions out of our souls for us. Passions evaporate only in the light of our heavenly Physician’s healing grace.

“Getting rid of them matters a lot, because they block out all the spiritual comfort and joy, those gifts of the Holy Spirit, that we’d be blessed with if we were free of passions. The passions, as long as they’re in us, will keep us from getting the happiness we wish for. You probably know people who seem to have only a comparatively light load of passions in them. Even so, every person has these three passions to a sufficient degree to cause us all to be separated from God and from the realization of our soul’s very biggest instinctive desires.”

— Dee Pennock, The Path to Sanity

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