31. Just as it is easier to sin in thought than in
deed, correspondingly, it is more difficult to struggle with thoughts than with
31. Not to have a passion for possessions is a
great thing, but greater still ó is to remain dispassionate when reflecting
over them, because the war waged by evil spirits against us through thoughts is
much more burdensome than through the objects themselves.
31. Do not misuse thoughts, in order not to misuse
objects by necessity; for if we do not originally sin mentally, we will never
sin in deed.
31. The items we passionately think about are
those items, which we were at some time attached to. Why is it that in
conquering imaginings of passions, the individual naturally despises those
objects of his imagination? For the struggle with remembrances about things is
equally as difficult as to struggle with the objects themselves, just as it is
more convenient to sin mentally than in deed.
31. When the mind begins to flourish in its love
for God, the blaspheming spirit commences to tempt it, instilling such thoughts
that no human being could think of but only the devil ó their father. And he
does this from his jealousy of the God-loving Man, who in accepting such
thoughts as his own, he would become despondent and
cease having the boldness to turn to God with prayer. But the cunning one
obtains no gain from his wiles, because he makes us more resolute, because in
warring against him, we become more experienced and more sincere in our love
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