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Thoughts (Battling Them)

“It is impossible to stop our mind, which is ever-moving, from having thoughts, although it is within our power to feed it either with spiritual meditation or with worldly concerns.” (St. Moses the Ethiopian)

“Without such quietude, which the Fathers call hesychia, we do not even realize how dominated we are by our thoughts. With it, we at last are given eyes to see how they flood through us and out of us with such abandon…Who sits in solitude and is quiet hath escaped from three wars: hearing, speaking, seeing: yet against one thing shall he continually battle: that is, his own heart.” (Bishop Irenei Steenberg, St. Anthony the Great)

“The Scriptures teach us that Christ has already won the battle against these spiritual powers that seek to do us harm. He has already disarmed them by destroying their power of sin and death. The reality, however, that they are on the losing side has not led to the enemy surrendering, or seeking mercy from our victorious Lord. Rather, because they know that their days are numbered and their time is short, they thrash about all the more violently, harming and destroying anyone they can in the time left to them. As Christians, this requires us to be on our guard. It requires us to guard our minds, and to examine our thoughts and impulses, to practice discernment between them regarding which are good and guiding us toward the Kingdom, and which thoughts and impulses are seeking to leads us off of the path, and to a destination which we seek to avoid. Just as important as it is to remember that we are engaged in this spiritual warfare, however, is that we always remember that our fellow human beings are never our enemies.” (Father Stephen De Young)

“The enemy is always trying to distract our mind with where we have been, what we have done, what we have heard, even from our youth. The evil spirits have a way of combining these things; they have an entire archive of all our doings.... They cannot see our inner thoughts, but they can see the state of our soul. Therefore we need a huge effort to draw our hearts close to the Lord and to be with Him at all times. This is labor-filled prayer.” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“Modern society tells us to listen closely to our thoughts and feelings, because that’s who we really are. But this psychologized model of anthropology squares neither with how humanity has understood itself throughout time nor with our daily experiences, in which we cannot always understand our thoughts and feelings and in which they often contradict from moment to moment. It also does not take into account the thoughts and feelings may be coming from the outside, i.e. demonic influence…You don’t have to live at the mercy of things you think and feel, no matter how deep they seem to go. Christ has called you to take every thought captive to rise in holy obedience to Him, to become like Him.” (Father Andrew Stephen Damick)

#StMosestheEthiopian #BishopIreneiSteenberg #StAnthonytheGreat #ElderThaddeusofVitovnica #FatherAndrewStephenDamick #FatherStephenDeYoung

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