“And those of Christ crucified their flesh with their passions and desires.” (Gal. 5:22). Today this order of things has been reversed: men crucify the flesh, not with the passions and desires, but rather in the presence of the passions and desires.
How men today torture their bodies through gluttony, drunkenness, debauchery and indulgence! Not even the most heartless master, subjects his lazy animal to such tortures. If our flesh could speak, the first thing it would do would be to blame its mistress, the soul, for having so unlawfully meddled in the affairs of the flesh, and brought to it passions unknown to it, and afflicted it with them.
The needs of our body are essentially simple and indifferent. Look at animals: they do not overeat, they do not sleep excessively, and when they have satisfied their bodily needs, they remain calm. Only the soul that has forgotten its good inclinations, creates with its debauchery a host of unnatural tendencies, which are unnatural for the body as well. But in order to cut off, in every possible way, the fleshly passions which have been implanted in the soul as a graft, we must crucify the flesh. And this is done by offering it much less than it requires.
St. Theophanes the Recluse
Translated by Dr. Nick Stergiou