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Thoughts, Words, Actions, Deeds

“Sins of thought are not an unimportant matter for the Christian, because all that is pleasing to God in us is comprised in thoughts, for the thoughts are the beginning from which the words and deeds proceed…A person’s thoughts are the foundation of his or her words and deeds.” (St. John of Kronstadt, Foundation Study Bible, Proverbs 12:5-6)

“If our thoughts suggest something to us to be done, we must handle it with utmost scrupulosity. It must be placed on the scales of the heart and weighed with the most exacting care. Is it filled with what is good for all? Is it heavy with the fear of God? Is it genuine in the feelings which underlie it? Is it lightweight because of human show or because of some thrust toward novelty? Has the burden of vainglory lessened its merit or diminished its luster? This prompt testing will be done as something public. That is, it is measured against the acts and the witness of the apostles. If it looks to be whole, complete, and in conformity with these latter, then let us hold on to it. Or if it seems defective, dangerous, and not of equal weight with these, let us cautiously and carefully reject it.” (St. John Cassian)

“If we want to resist evil thoughts and expel them from ourselves, we can do so with God’s help—having recourse to unceasing prayer and the other remedies against evil. ” (St. Anastasios of Sinai)

“Just as the most bitter medicine drives out poisonous creatures, so prayer joined to fasting drives evil thoughts away… Let us use the time of the fast to reorder our thoughts " (Amma Syncletica of the Desert, Dynamis 2/16/2015)

“All of us, clergy, laity, monastics, must bring Christ to our minds first, as soon as we awake from our sleep. Let us offer to Him the beginning of all our thoughts like a morning sacrifice.” (St. Symeon the New Theologian)

“…let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth…We are to give our attention to deeds, not just to words…To love in word is to speak loving words but to stop short of doing anything to prove that love. The opposite of loving in word is loving in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18, Orthodox Study Bible, 1 John 3:12, Foundation Study Bible, 1 John 3:18)

“Right thinking is the raw material for right actions (Ps. 119:11; Prov. 23:7; Rom. 12:2; James 1:13–15). Our actions will naturally reveal the direction of our thoughts.” (Foundation Study Bible, Titus 2:1)

“Always test your spiritual acuity, turn to the Lord to guard you against delusion, and watch your thoughts before acting…Behold, I am coming to reward them according to their actions and their thoughts.” (Dynamis 1/17/2019, Wisdom of Sirach 11:24)

“Our thoughts, our words, and our actions and deeds must be loving and in congruence. Unfortunately, they are not always loving and often incongruent. We do the opposite of what we say. We may do one thing in public and another in private. We may say one thing but really think another. Sin is the infection that causes this disharmony. Christ offers us the cure through union with Him. The more we are in union with Him the more our thoughts, words, and actions will be of one accord and will be loving.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“As we draw into closer union with Him through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, He strengthens us against every word and deed that mars the soul and, in turn, He increases our godly understanding and enlightenment…As in God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are undivided, so also in prayer and in our daily life the thought, the word, and the deed ought to be undivided." (Dynamis 1/3/2019, St. John of Kronstadt)

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