The heart itself is but a small vessel, yet dragons are there, and there are also lions; there are poisonous beasts and all the treasures of evil. But there too is God, the angels, the life and the kingdom, the light and the apostles, the heavenly cities and the treasuries of grace—all things are there.
So long as a passion attacks you, cut it off at once.
We must not be puffed up when The Lord does something through our meditation, but we must thank Him for making us worthy to be called by Him. It’s good to think about each virtue in this way.
There are some who receive ten [thoughts] and give one [to the enemy].
Do not give your heart to that which does not satisfy your heart. If you take little account for yourself, you will have peace, wherever you live. There is a kind of shake that contains a culpable lack of fear. When self-will and ease become habitual, they overthrow a man. If you are silent, you will have peace wherever you live.
Do not judge yourself, but live with someone who knows how to behave properly.
A brother came to see Abba Poemen and said to him, “Abba, I have many thoughts and they put me in danger.” The old man (Abba Poemen) led him outside and said to him, “Expand your chest and do not breathe in.” He said, “I cannot do that.” The old man said to him, “If you cannot do that, no more can you prevent evil thoughts from arising, but you can resist them.”
If a man has sinned, and denies it saying: ‘I have not sinned,’ don’t reprimand him; for that will discourage him. But say to him, “Don’t lose heart, brother, but be on guard in the future,” and you will stir his soul to repentance.
The Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain said there are two types of people. There are the bees and the flies. The bees are attracted to flowers and sweet smells, whereas the flies are only attracted to dirt and stench. Ask a bee where there is stench, and he will say “what is stench”. Ask a fly, where is the sweet smell, and he will say “what sweet smell?” The bee knows only sweetness and good, whereas the fly knows only stench and dirt.
As we examine our life, we must decide whether we will be a bee, or a fly. Do we judge others, and look only for the stench and the dirt, or do we look only for the good in others, and see the stench only in ourselves.