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Struggles with thoughts.

31. Just as it is easier to sin in thought than in deed, correspondingly, it is more difficult to struggle with thoughts than with deeds.

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 toward God.

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