Answers of the Great Masters of the Spiritual Life to the
Questions of Their Disciples.
Disciple: For what purpose did the Son of God
Master: To teach us to love men and to have
sympathy for them when they fall; and to war constantly against the
wicked demons. But if we are soft, careless, slothful and confused
because of our desires for carnal pleasures, we do not war against
the demons but against ourselves and our brothers.
Disciple: That is like serving the devil and, for
the devilís sake, fight men?
Disciple: What must I do to avoid such
Master: Have completely no interest for earthly
things; and continuous meditation on the Divine Scriptures brings the
soul to the fear of God. And the fear of God leads to
Disciple: And what is the first thing I learn
Master: You begin to see the demons warring
against you through your own thoughts. Seeing this, you begin to
Disciple: How can I always serve God?
Master: It is impossible unless you have love, self-mastery
and prayer. Love tames anger, self-mastery quenches concupiscence,
while prayer elevates the mind away from worldly matters and raises
it to God.
St. Maximus the Confessor