Koinonia (koinonia) wrote,

A brother asked one of the elders, "What shall I do? My thoughts are
always turned to lust without allowing me an hour's respite, and my soul
is tormented by it." He said to him, "Every time the demons suggest
these thoughts to you, do not argue with them. For the activity of
demons always is to suggest, and suggestions are not sins, for they
cannot compel. But it rests with you to welcome them, or not to welcome
them. Do you know what the Midianites did? They adorned their daughters
and presented them to the Israelites. They did not compel anyone, but
those who consented, sinned with them, while the others were enraged and
put them to death. It is the same with thoughts." The brother answered
the old man, "What shall I do, then, for I am weak and passion overcomes
me?" He said to him, "Watch your thoughts, and every time they begin to
say something to you, do not answer them but rise and pray; kneel down,
saying, 'Son of God, have mercy on me.'"
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