Spiritual Counsels, Volume III: Spiritual Struggle
By Saint Paisios the Athonite
Size: 6" x 9" (15.3 x 23 cm)
From Part One, The War of Thoughts:
"Good and Evil Thoughts - The Power of Good Thought
- Geronda, in the Old Testament, in the book Maccabees IV, it is written: For devout thought does not uproot the passions but is their antagonist. What does this mean?
- The passions are deeply rooted in us, but the good, devout thought helps us to not become enslaved to them. When man brings only good thoughts to mind and establishes a strong and healthy spiritual state, then the passions lie dormant, and it is as if they did not exist. In other words, devout thoughts do not uproot the passions altogether, but combat them and can defeat them. I think the author is describing what the Holy Seven Young Men, their mother Saint Solomone and their teacher Saint Eleazar were able to endure by having good and devout thoughts, and thus is indicating precisely the extent of the power of good thoughts.
One good thought is equal to a very long vigil! It is very powerful. Similar to how certain new weapons can intercept a missile at its base by using laser beams and prevent it from being fired, so good thoughts can also anticipate and immobilize evil thoughts at the devil's "airport", where they are launched from. This is why you must struggle as much as you can - before the tempter devil has a chance to plant evil thoughts in your mind - to plant good thoughts and transform your heart into a flower garden, so that your prayer will be enriched..."
From the Contents:
- Part One: The War of Thoughts
- Part Two: Righteousness and Injustice
- Part Three: Sin and Repentance
- Part Four: The Evil Forces of Darkness
- Part Five: The Power of Confession