“On one occasion, I was sitting with the Blessed Abbot Sergios from the Jordan Plain. While I was reading the Book of Proverbs, I came to the verse which says, “With much wood, fire increaseth; but where there is not a contentious man, strife ceaseth” (Proverbs 26:20), and I asked the Blessed Sergios to explain it to me. He said in reply: “Just as wood causes  a fire to flare up and, if we do not throw enough of it on the fire, it goes out, so also does it happen with the passions; that is, there are certain causes which, if cut off, no longer activate the passions. For example, the causes of anger are giving and taking, wanting to do one’s own will, taking delight in teaching and showing off to other people, and thinking oneself to be intelligent and wise.” ~ From the Gerontikon