Imitation of Christ & Rule 12

  • ‘Stand firm in the beginning, or remedies will be provided too late.’ For first the simple thought comes to the mind, then a strong imagination, afterward pleasure, and distorted stirrings, and consent. Thus the evil enemy, a little at a time, gains complete entry, because he was not resisted in the beginning. And the longer a man delays his resistance, the weaker he becomes each day, and the enemy stronger against him” (Book 1, Ch.13.5).

  • “The beginning of all temptations to evil is inconstancy of soul, and little trust in God. For as a ship that has no rudder is driven here and there by the waves, so the careless man who is slow of resolve is tempted in many ways. Fire reveals the quality of iron, and temptation that of the just man. Often we do not know what strength we have, but temptation shows what we are. We must watch, therefore, above all for the beginning of temptation, because then the enemy is more easily overcome, if he is not allowed even to enter the door of the mind, but is met outside the threshold as soon as he knocks” (Book 1, Ch.13.5).
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