Ephraim of Arizona: “My child, be careful with your imagination.”

Dover Beach

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“My child, be careful with your imagination. All sins originate from the imagination; it is the root of sin. So be careful. As soon as a fantasy of a person or deed comes, of something you saw or heard, immediately drive it away from your mind with anger and the prayer. Say it rapidly and intensely, and at once entreat our Panagia mentally with pain to help you, and I trust in God that you will obtain the victory. You were proud, and this is why the devil started fighting you. Humble yourself now; abase yourself; insult yourself mentally, and God, seeing your humility, will help you. Just as you avoid fire so that you do not get burned, and a snake so that you do not get bitten, likewise — and even more so — you should avoid the devil’s fantasies! Be careful, I repeat, with filthy fantasies; because…

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