He who has mastery over his incensive power has mastery also over the demons. But anyone who is a slave to it is a stranger to the ways of the Saviour, for as the Saviour enjoined us: 'Learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart: and you will find rest for your souls' (Mt. 11:29). Now if a man abstains from food and drink, but becomes incensed to wrath because of evil thoughts, he is like a ship sailing the open sea with a demon for a pilot.
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Provide yourself with such work for your hands as can be done, if possible, both during the day and at night, so that you are not a burden to anyone, and indeed can give to others, as St. Paul the Apostle advises (cf. I Thess. 2:9; Eph. 4:28). In this manner you will overcome the demon of listlessness and drive away all the desires suggested by the enemy; for the demon of listlessness takes advantage of idleness. 'Every idle man is full of desires' (Prov. 13:4 LXX).
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The Holy Spirit, out of compassion for our weakness, comes to us even when we are impure. And if He finds our intellect truly praying to Him, He enters it and puts to flight the whole array of thoughts and ideas circling within it, and He arouses it to a longing for spiritual prayer.
... we should not worry about clothes or food? Such anxiety is a mark of? unbelievers, who reject the providence of the Lord and deny the Creator. An attitude of this kind is entirely wrong for Christians who believe that even? sparrows? are under the care of the holy angels (cf. Mt. 10:29). The demons, however? suggest worries of this kind? The divine word can bear no fruit, being choked out by our cares. Let us, then, renounce these cares, and throw them down before the Lord, being content with what we have at the moment?
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