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“ ‘Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve’ (Luke 22:3). Satan does not enter a man except by the man's consent. The reason Satan chose Judas and none of the others is that Judas had a place for Satan in his heart, while the others did not. Luke's mention of Judas being numbered among the twelve emphasizes the depth of the betrayal and shows that religious position is worthless if not accompanied by faith and virtue.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 22:3)

“Disasters have their spiritual beginnings in men’s hearts…Within the heart’s recesses, our passionate thoughts hasten our journey toward visible, sinful action. This corrupt interior movement effectively negates the truth of God, leading us to question whether He truly acts in our lives. Such interior insults leave us utterly without excuse before God (Rom 1:20). When we deny and destroy the image of God within us, we first do ourselves in by the disastrous consent of the heart. The sinful heart dares God to act visibly, as if challenging Him to put up a billboard listing what is already written within us.” (Dynamis 3/20/2019)

“…even the slightest negative thought disturbs our peace…accepting a negative thought, we accept the devil himself. The demons are invisible, but we lend them our bodies so that they become visible…For as soon as such a thought is conceived in our minds, we have accepted the devil, for he is a noetic power and can enter our body. As soon as we have consented to such thoughts, he is here! How many times has he already entered and occupied the bodies of those who are pious, let alone those who are not…” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“The immediate origin of a temptation is our own sinful passions, which the devil energizes. Temptation begins with desires or lusts, then progresses to being conceived, a fixation on or delight in sinful desires, and ends as birth to sin, a consent to or acting out of sinful desires. We fall to temptation because we allow ourselves to do so. Neither God nor circumstances force us to yield.” (Orthodox Study Bible, James 1:14-15)

“There are three stages in temptation. The first is suggestion, the second is experiment, and the third is consent…Temptation is brought to fulfillment by three stages: suggestion, delight, consent. And we in temptation generally fall through delight, and then through consent; for being begotten of the sin of the flesh we bear within us that through which we suffer conflict. But God, incarnate in the womb of a virgin, came into the world without sin, and so suffers no conflict within himself. He could therefore be tempted by suggestion, but the delight of sin could never touch his mind. So all these temptations of the devil were from without, not from within Him.” (St. Bede, St. Gregory the Great)


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