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On Prayer and Watchfulness

Let us fast according to our strength; but in the fasting of the senses, of the nous, and of the heart, let us wrestle against our soul's enemy with all our strength. My child, guard your senses and especially your eyes. The eyes are like the tentacles of the octopus which grasp whatever moves in front of them. They catch the prey of sin more easily. With the eyes spiritual towers fell and were lost. When David was careless with his eyes, he committed murder and adultery, even though he was a great prophet of God who had grace and the gift of foresight.

My child, since you are in the midst of occasions for various sins, be careful with your senses. Above all be careful with your nous, the navigator, "the most shameless bird," according to Abba Isaac the Syrian. The nous pries into the secret's of the actions of one's neighbor; it can be a filthy artist when it depicts shameful things. Therefore, at all costs take care to keep your nous pure by immediately driving away every thought and sinful fantasy, having as strong aids the Jesus prayer and the kind of anger for which it was said: "Be angry and do not sin." (Eph.4:26)