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Fear of God, Prayer, temptation


4. Nothing upsets a good frame of mind more than laughter, jokes and idle chatter. Likewise, nothing rejuvenates a decaying soul more and prepares it to come closer to God than the fear of God, conscientious attention, and the continuous study of Godís Word and prayer.

6. Just like metal that comes into contact with fire becomes unapproachable, so do frequent prayers strengthen the mind for battle against the enemy. That is why the demons, in knowing that prayers can conquer them, apply all their strength to weaken our endeavors toward them.

28. Another time, a teacher may be subjected to temptations and dishonor because he had been beneficial to others in imparting spiritual wisdom. That is why the Apostle writes: "You are distinguished, but we are dishonored" (1 Cor. 4:10).

30. The Apostle Peter is first charged with the keys (of the Heavenly Kingdom) before being allowed to renounce Jesus Christ, so that his fall may purify his opinion of himself. Likewise if you, having received the keys to guidance and perception, succumb to various temptations, do not be surprised but praise our wisest Lord for curbing your self-opinion through your fall. This is because temptation is a bridle ó Godís providence ó that curbs self-opinion of people.

51. The devil sets boldly and threateningly upon a soul that has newly emerged from its body, presenting him as the bitter and terrifying accuser of its downfall. However, you can also see how a soul that loves God and is true to Him ó although it formerly was ulcerated with sin for a short period ó is not afraid of his attacks and threats, but becomes increasingly stronger in the Lord as it is exhilarated with joy, invigorated with wisdom as it sees the accompanying heavenly forces: as if protected by an illuminated wall of faith and with great boldness calls out against the evil spirit: "What is it between you and us, alien to God? What is it between you and us, insidious servant that has been cast down from Heaven? You have no authority over us. Only Christ, the Son of God, has authority over us and everyone on earth; we have sinned against Him and to Him we will have to answer, having a warranty of His clemency toward us and salvation in His pure Cross. And you get away from us ó cursed one!" 

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