How to control the thoughts, And sanctify the subconscious (2)
By: House of God’s Love
Book name: Book series of Principles of Spiritual Life
How to control the thoughts
And sanctify the subconscious
By: Servants of God’s Love Hostel
This is a practical scheme to growth and progression in spiritual life. To completely benefit from it you have to read it in its correct sequence as well as to apply its simple principles in your life in a regular and cumulative sequence. The practical book should not be only read but the practical steps should be applied.
The motor is not tried only once or several times and then stopped but it should continue to work to benefit from it. In spiritual life it is not enough to start the steps (retail – bare face – good morning) and then stop but this should continue through our spiritual life and if it doesn’t continue our spiritual growth will also stop. This is the second part discussing the thoughts’ control.
The devil’s first war against us is through the thoughts and if he wins he can direct us as he wants. He just shows us his thoughts but he cannot force us. With the grace of Christ we can overcome him. Christ promised us to grind Satan under our feet if we just call Him …
Try those steps and when you see the results continue and do not leave them! May our Lord protect our thoughts through the intercession of our Mother the Holy Virgin Mary and the prayers of our holy father His Holiness Pope Tawadross II, to God be the glory in His church, forever, Amen.
On my way to meet my spiritual father, when I had already started to apply his instructions, I felt the grace and condolence and knew the difference between the relationship with God as a routine and form and when this relationship is backed with fatherly love. I was not yet finished with this thought when a strong sand storm started pushing sand in my eyes and ears hindering my motion and almost throwing me to the ground. I pulled myself up and continued to walk still thinking. When I started regarding God with love and as a Father, some evil thoughts started irritating me strongly similar to this sandstorm and I thought to discuss with my father: how to resist and fight those thoughts. My father was waiting for ne and we saluted each other and sat together.
He said: How are you? How is the retail and the bare face?
I said: I started Father, and I felt the meaning of God’s Fatherhood also the ease in dealing with Him and the possibility of talking to Him all the time and how to talk to Him about everything and I became much better than before but not in everything.
He said: of course your moustache and beard would not grow all of a sudden, son they have to grow step by step but you have to try with all your might not to forget and if you do forget, come back fast and remember, but what about the comparisons?
I said: I got to know who I love most (the cat) but I do not feel any progress in this point specially.
He said: This special point might require several months to get a result you just have to be honest in your continuous request, as soon as you start thinking and missing someone or something just say: Lord let me love You more than….. The more honest and zealous you are the faster you will reach your goal and when God becomes number 1 in your life you will reach what is called “spiritual stability” but this needs patience, my son.
I said: but two or three days later, evil thoughts started to irritate me strongly.
He said: OK, then, you are following the right path, my son.
I said: How come Father those are very bad thoughts and very tiring as well.
He said: As soon as Satan saw that you are starting your spiritual way seriously, he started attacking you strongly, when your relationship with God was weak and formal you were not representing any danger to him, anytime he wished to beat you he could easily do!
But now you are a source of anxiety and danger to him.
Son, do not consider this weak or this month! Look forward to a year or two later. If you are serious in this way, God will be all your life and you will be able to close all Satan’s doors. When God is in all your life He becomes your friend and sure the devil will fight against you with all his might!
When the seed start to grow it’s easy to destroy it just needs to be stepped on to be destroyed but when it grows to be a big Camphor or berry tree it becomes hard to cut it or destroy it.
Never panic because of your imaginations. The devil’s strength is not to be compared to our freedom. He can’t force us he can just try to scare us or give us the willies
Mar Yacoub El Serougy
That’s the reason, my son, that he tries to fight against you with all his might when you are staring, before you deepen in your spiritual life so that he can destroy you before you grow and become strong.
The maximum the devil can do is to present his stuff
but he cannot impose or force them
I said: Father, then what is solution the war is very hard.
He said: Yes son the war is hard but God is with you so don’t fear.
He is like a sales representative but he can’t force you to buy from him
I said: but he is a very skillful and persistent salesman, how can I defeat him?
He said: There are three ways to defeat thought’s war.
I said: What are they Father?
The first step to control the thought is to
Close the tap
I said: How Father.
He said: Someone was psychologically sick and he became insane and he was put in a mental hospital and they started treating him with medicines and treatment sessions. After some time he started to feel better so they thought of testing him before releasing him to go back home. They placed him in a large room. They brought a water container and spilt it on the floor and asked him to dry the floor. The more he rubbed the floors to dry it, the more water they spilt.
Whenever he dried a part of the room he found the rest of the room all wet, until he really got tired. They had left the tap open while he was drying the floor. Would it have been possible for him to keep on drying the floor if this condition continued?
I said: Of course not Father so long as the tap was opened, he would never have been able to dry the floor even if he kept on drying for a hundred years.
He said: Exactly my son, this is our condition
Our taps are our five senses
To achieve a holy body and thoughts and a chaste soul is an illusion if your five senses are not controlled.
I said: How can I control my five senses?
He said: You have to know that if any of your senses is nor controlled willingly by you) this could lead you to hell.
In a small city in Upper Egypt someone was crossing the train rails when his foot got stuck between the rails and some people tried hard to pull him out but they failed while a fast train was coming and was not stopping at this small station and it was impossible to stop it.
The people started to leave the man as the train was coming with its full speed. The man started to scream asking them to cut his foot: Cut my foot cut my foot, I don’t want to die. . One of the people around ran a nearby butcher to get a knife. Before coming back to cut the man’s foot to rescue him from death, someone went to a falafel restaurant and got a bottle of oil and poured oil on the man’s foot and pulled him strongly and out came his foot. The man and all the people were very happy (realized that he was going to die that’s why he screamed to them to cut his foot)
The Lord Jesus said “if your eye offend you pluck it out and cast it from you”, “If your hand offend you cut it off” and ” better for you that one of your organs parishes rather than you be thrown in hell” Mathew 18:9.
I said: Shall I pluck my eye or cut my hand, Father?
He said: Pluck the evil eye and cut the evil hand and do not let any of your organs under Satan’s reign! Strip off your old body with all its evil and unclean organs.
I said: Should I walk, closed-eyed in the street, Father, so that I don’t see anybody?
He said: Don’t walk closed-eyed but there is a difference between one look and another, between someone walking in the street away from any offending scene and another who seeks offending scenes to look at.
I said: I look, Father, just to see beauty and elegance, which I love, not knowing if this is offending or not.
He said, smiling: You look at beauty and elegance without knowing if this is offending or not! You know very well my son, no one knows the heart of a man except the spirit living in him. But there is also a pointer that helps you judge yourself.
Protect your eyes or else your heart will be filled with Ghosts
Anba Moussa Al Aswad
I said: What is this pointer Father?
He said: The subconscious mind (the subconscious)
I said: What is the subconscious?
He said: When you are alone what do you think of?!
Do you think and or meditate about heaven and the saints or are you fought by thoughts of, what you call friendship, and stay all day daydreaming when you are subconscious or dreaming. This is the biggest pointer about your senses, what do you dream of do you dream of the Lord Jesus and that you are praying, or are you fought be thoughts and weariness like all people?
When the ear hears filthy talk you can’t protect the purity of your heart without being defiled
Look son, judge yourself and do not let Satan fool you. Judge sin and name it with it correct name.
Say about sin that it is sin and ask God to liberate you from it, otherwise, you will spend your life in an illusion thinking that you are on the right track while you are very far from the road.
I said: What about other senses Father?
He said: About hearing, the book says, “he that increases knowledge increases sorrow” Ecc1:18
I said: Does this mean that we should not learn anything and stay ignorant, Father?
He said: Of course not, son, the book means the sinful knowledge. When you hear someone condemning another and saying words about him, when you meet this person you will condemn him too and you will unconsciously, remember all the words said about him.
Some people are proud of their wickedness as the book says” whose glory is in their shame” Phil 3:19. When you hear those evil words, the words will fight against you and will contaminate your thoughts in spite of you. Some people tell offending stories and say bad words that disturb the thoughts and drives evil to anyone. That’s why the bible says “nor sit in the seat of the scornful. Psalm1.
Watch Out son all those! Don’t give your ears to all this evil or you will be exhausted. If this has already happened before don’t repeat the same mistake.
I said: What about the tongue Father?
He said: Read the epistle of Jacob “3” you will find the dangers concerned with the tongue. The book says
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth” Ephesians 4:29
“Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them” Mat20:7″ Whoever says to his brother you foolish deserves the fire of hell.
In spite of all this we find some young people not controlling their tongue on the contrary they are proud of their evil words.
Christians have become similar to the people of the world
We became a shame to the Name of Christ and a cause of blasphemy to the Beautiful Name and still think that we are Christians.
Nominal Christianity Son, a Christianity that leads to hell, a Christianity that does not glorify Christ instead it brings shame and blasphemy to Him.
I said: and what should I do Father after hearing all this terrorizing words?
He said: This is what we are saying, Son about controlling the senses and thoughts.
The first thing is to realize, because if someone realizes the magnitude of sin he will start to repent. The thing is that he doesn’t realize!
We have to know and understand that justifying any sin, even if it is a very small sin, is a treason, if there is no repentance for it then the price for this sin is death.
Judge yourself as a sinner and any curse or vicious look or complacency with any of your senses is considered a sin and if you do not repent then it will lead you to destruction. Look to how do you deal with your father if you offend him or insult hi, this is repentance, Son, to reconcile with the One you love. Don’t justify sin, Son, or you will enter the treason circle.
I said: What if I return back to sin?
Judge yourself every day and discover the sins you did and pray to God to forgive you them
Saint Isaiah El Askity
He said: I say to you, realize the ugliness of your sin and come back and repent and do not despair no matter how many times you fall even if you fall a million times a day fight to death against sin and do as Anba Shenouda the Archimandrite says
“Never roost over your sin”
That is every day reconcile with your heavenly Father tell Him forgive my sins and mention them one by one. Ask Him for forgiveness and ask Him to protect you from Satan and from falling once more. Why do you go to bed while you are offending the Lord Jesus?! Don’t sleep before you reconcile with Him as a Kind Father and believe totally in complete forgiveness and acceptance to be able to sleep peacefully and quietly in your Heavenly Father’s lap and to receive the strength you need to fight Satan the next day.
I said: and what about the touching sense?
He said: The late Anba Youaness mentioned in the book “The spiritual Grove” that the sense of touch is the most dangerous sense as regards the youth sins. Any complacency in this sense will let me fall easily in the youth sins either willingly or unwillingly.
Also the Lord Jesus focused on the sight and touch senses and said “if your eye offend you pluck it out and if your leg or hand offend you cut it out”
The sense of touch is very dangerous, I might not know this and think that this is just friendship or it is too crowded and what can I do? If I give excuses I will never be liberated.
I said: I did not know about the danger of this sense before. I thought it had no effect on me and I often fell in sin and did not know the reason for this repeated falling in bad habits and lust in spite of all my precautions regarding other senses.
The evil thought, to those who destruct it, is a sign of their love to God not to sin. Evil thoughts, by themselves, have no sins. The sin lies in the friendly and loving conversation between them and the brain.
St Marcos the anchorite
He said: We will speak about this sense in detail later. Also don’t think that if you close all the taps, that everything will suddenly quiet down and you will be in peace regarding the war of thoughts.
I said: Why Father?
He said: The taps had been opened for weeks and months and the room is full of water i.e. the sub-conscience has stored pictures, words and stumbling situations that we cannot get rid of suddenly, we need time to replace them with other holy ones
I said: Is there nothing to help reduce the time needed and speeds up sanctification and purification, Father?
He said: When we mention the remaining points of thoughts control, we will mention three points to sanctify the subconscious or sub-conscience.
I said: What is the second thing about thought control Father?
He said: The second thing is:
To say No
The proverb states that “The door from which the wind comes close it and relax”! If you shut the senses from which the thoughts come, he will not leave you alone. He will knock at your door and tell you: “open, open my friend” you will say “who are you” and he will say”your old friend don’t you remember my voice?!” you say “who” he replies and says” your friend Dodo, the devil” you say “go away may God break down this friendship. He says “let’s negotiate at least at the door” but seriously and determinately you don’t open and you say “No” meaning “No” don’t negotiate with him just negotiating with the thought allows it to dominate over you. Refuse it strongly from the beginning judge it as defiled and evil. When he says” Look” say to him
“No I will not look I don’t want to perish” when he says “swear or insult” tell him” no I will not swear or insult I don’t want to betray Christ” you have to know that:
There is a big difference between fighting sin and falling in sin.
I said what is the difference Father?
He said: Sin war is when the devil brings the thought to you to fall in sin. He comes whispering with evil inspirations and defiled thoughts. This is his job and he is very honest in doing his job and you cannot ask him not to do so but when he fights us with sin this doesn’t mean falling in sin. He fought before against saints and he even fought against Jesus Himself in the temptation on the mountain. Do not be scared when he fights you with sin and do not think that you fell in sin but you are like a soldier fighting at war that even if he falls he is considered a martyr and does not give up.
Falling in sin is accepting the devil thoughts and enjoying them and walking with them some steps or you look with an evil eye and you enjoy that, or you say an evil word and you are proud of it and when you are convicted by the Spirit of God you do not listen or repent but you justify the sin, this is falling in sin.
If you fall get up quickly and do not remain falling but get up fast. If your foot slipped don’t leave yourself to perish and if you fall in infidelity do not remain as a betrayer.
Honestly speaking the strongest issue in this war is returning fast and keeping your faith to death no matter how many times you fall and how weak you are
Do you remember the story of Joseph the righteous, son?
I said: Yes Father I remember it.
He said : Joseph was in a very difficult situation, strong pressures, his moral was very down , he was a slave sold and betrayed by his own brothers, he was foreign, he was tempted by his lord’s wife, it was very hard but the secret of Joseph’s success lies in one word.
I said: What is this word Father?
He said: He said “No” he did not negotiate and say to himself “this is a kind woman and she loves me but in a wrong way I should not hurt her but I should talk to her about God and holiness and relate to her about my father Abraham and my father Isaac and my father Jacob” he definitely did not say so if he did he would have fallen a great fall. He did not negotiate, he just said” No” and ran away.
As soon as you start to negotiate with the thought you get tired and falling becomes easy
Imagine walking in a street where there is sewerage flooding, and workers were fixing the problem and there was a very short worker working in cleaning the street and we don’t know what happened to this worker, anybody walking in the street, he would splash him with the dirty water saying “revolution, freedom, share with us all you people, join us join us.” Imagine if you are at the beginning of this street would you still pass by and start hitting this worker?
I said: Of course not, I will run away. Any contact with him will surely pollute me Whatever the result is.
Runaway from the youthful desires
As the proverb says “Running is part of being smart!” and honestly speaking son, in this situation, running is smart.
He said: do you remember the story of Lot?
I said: yes Father I remember the story.
He said: the two angels went to him and told him “come on run away from this place” he started to hesitate and I believe he told them “leave it till tomorrow morning or as the Egyptian saying “the morning is the jackpot” They told him “no way a jackpot, Lot, the morning will be fire and matches!”
They held his hands, his wife’s and daughter’s hands and ran away. They told him three very important words.
The first word “run away for your life”
You should know that your presence amid viciousness or evil is the destruction of your life, leaving bad thoughts to dwell in your brain and your negligence of your senses will destroy you if you do not stop and repent. Say (“No” with all your might. No matter how many times you fall do not despair, get up once more and “No”)
We often get these messages (run away for your life)
Runaway from this offending eyesore run away from this crowded place run away from this careless playboy character run away from this situation.
Whoever listens and obeys the spiritual inner voice will save his life and who doesn’t listen will walk towards his destruction, the bible says run away not go out or up but fly away with all your might and concern run away run away….
The second word “do not stand in the circle”
Judge evil as evil, there is nothing called “very evil” and another called” partly evil” that you can keep for yourself. Even if you can’t get rid of, judge it as evil and ask God to liberate you from it. There is a very big difference between “you don’t want” or “you can’t.”
I said: what is the difference Father?
He said: “You don’t want” means you do not want to leave evil, you are happy with it and you don’t care about God or the way to God you don’t care about your everlasting life or your everlasting death. You hear God’s voice and you demean it, you don’t want to listen to him, you do not try to repent, and you don’t judge sin as sin but you want to justify it.
Here God is standing at the door, knocking, He will not break in your will.
But “you can’t” means you try to hate evil and you don’t want to fall in sin, you miss salvation and repentance but you might be weak and fall but when you fall you don’t try to justify your in but you confess that you are a sinner.
Here it is very easy for God so long as you want to, look at Him and ask Him for power and feasibility and He will sure respond
Do not despair, if you fall often do ‘t despair (Micah 7:8) keep solid and stable on your striving road, just don’t surrender and be sure that the day will come when God will relieve you from all your pains (Isaiah 14: 3) and will transfer all your weakness to strength. We will discuss this in detail in Benefits of repeated falling.
I said: and what is the third word that the two angels said?
He said: The third word “Don’t look backwards” that is don’t allow yourself to miss the old memories and the sins that you have been liberated from. Don’t go back with your past thoughts and find pleasure with them or regret leaving them. Try not to remember the places where you sinned or the people who offended you.
If the devil tries to let look backwards, refuse. Remember Lot’s wife when she looked backwards and she became a salt column. Did I tell you the story of the new Joseph?
I said: No father you did not tell me this story.
I said: and what is it Father?
He said: a young man went to visit his friend who lives with his wife in the seventh floor in a far district. He went out of his car and up to his friend’s apartment. He knocked the door and went in and when he asked about his friend, he was not there, the wife told him that he is in a business trip and will be there for a week. The wife wanted to sin with this young man.
He screamed strongly in his heart “Lord Jesus help me” in no time he was in his car driving and glorifying God.
I said: did this happen in our days Father?
He said: yes son
God is true in His promises and He can protect us if we held to Him
When you are honest to God He will always be honest to you shout to Him from all your heart He will sure hear you, say “No” with all your might, evil will not conquer you no matter how strong it is God’s power is as strong as ever and didn’t change and His promises are the same to anybody who asks Him just “Don’t negotiate with the thought”
In one of the new cities in a new area that was not yet inhabited, there was one apartment that was occupied by some people. In the middle of the night a well-dressed man knocked at their door, they looked from the window and saw that he looked like a descent man they opened the door. As soon as they opened the door five thieves broke in the apartment and stole everything they had.
Watch out the devil can come in a good form, well dressed and looking friendly, lovingly and brotherly, the outer form perfects but the inner poisonous.
I said: but how can I watch out Father?
He said: try not to fall twice in the same pit and if you fall get up and do not surrender and be sure that there are thieves in this area and they did steal you before. Watch out and know that if you do not shut your doors properly and surrendered to them they will rob you and make a shame of you but be sure they will not be able to break in all what they can do is to knock just be honest to God, stick to Him, call Him from the bottom of your heart and He will surely save you.
Say No also to semi-evil
I said: what is semi-evil Father?
He said: there are Christ’s road and the devil’s road, the road of life and the road of death, the road of good and the road of evil, there is no road in the middle if there is any then you should know that this is the semi-evil.
Paul the disciple says “Abstain from all appearance of evil”(1Thessalonians 5:22). The devil doesn’t want you to walk in Christ’s road and also doesn’t want you to complete evil.
I said: The devil doesn’t want me to complete evil, how come Father?
He said: he doesn’t want you to walk in Christ’s road. He tries to hinder you in every way and tire you so you that you don’t walk in it. At the same time he wants you to walk in the evil road but he “doesn’t allow you to complete the evil”
I said: why Father?
He said: because if he allows you to complete the evil you will feel the sin and repent and come back crying, he tries to stop you from completing evil so that you have the illusion that you are very far from evil.
I said: and how do I know that this is evil?
He said: when you feel reprimanded by the Holy Spirit and reproached by your conscience.
When you feel uncomfortable towards something special or a certain relationship when you get this feeling do not stop this inner voice do not continue in that road.
So long as those inner voices keep warning you shout to God to liberate you scream to Him every day and tell Him with the good morning group “Save me o Lord from all appearance of evil”
I said: Please Father tell me some examples to make it easier to understand
He said: I will not tell you any examples but I will ask you to pray every day if you pray every day God will show you. We will complete this subject when we talk about repeated falling. When He shows you say “No” to evil and shout to God to liberate you.
I said: This is beautiful talk but, excuse me, not practical.
He said: why son?
I said: because you did not go down to the world and you did not see what we saw or face what we face. He does not knock at the door, he breaks the door from knocking, what can I do?
He said: this is the third thing, son
I said: what is the third thing I need it badly?
He said: the third thing is
The arrow prayer
I said: what do you mean by the arrow prayer Father?
He said: There are arms against persons (guns) and arms against tanks (RPG) and arms against aeroplanes (surface- to- air missile) When he attacks you from a certain sense (say from the eyes direction) shout “Lord Jesus purify my eyes” … and keep on screaming.
Anyone who says Lord Jesus is as if he holds a sword that can kill the enemy
I said: will the war stop if I scream like this?
He said: no it will be stronger.
I said (interrupting Father astonishingly): will it increase? Is it not enough what I am passing through? Better then leave me as I am.
He said: slow down, son, it will increase, son, for a few days countable by the fingers of one hand. The stronger the war, the more you scream “Lord Jesus purify me” he strengthens the war and you scream more,
he exalts and you lift up your voice higher and higher. Just for a very few days and you will find out that the devil is scared of you.
I said: scared of me Father how come?
He said: he will say: the more I fight against him, he more he prays instead of going to him to pull him down and let him fall in the war, I make him pray!! He says to you no “sleep, better sleep, sleeping is beautiful” or “study, study, studying is better” and so on, son, the more he tries with you and finds you alert and running to the arrow prayer, he will be scared of you and will not fight with you in this point- so long as you are alert to him- he’ will find other ways of fighting with you, we will discuss this later (such as the dead mouse)
Also, use this other way of fighting evil thoughts
The Psychiatrist method
I said: and what is the psychiatrist method, Father?
He said: when someone is a psychopath – as we mentioned in the story of the mad man – and his family wants to take him to a psychiatrist, he refuses and run away from them and he even gets very furious and mad at them. They call the psychiatrist to help them even though he is a normal man but he knows how to treat psychopaths skillfully.
I said: and how does he treat them, Father?
He said: He goes to them with a gloomy face and pretends to be like them making the same movements and he says to the mad man “look if you are mad I am madder than you I tell you I am really mad. The mad man will be scared and says to himself “he is crazier than me” so the psychiatrist will give him the soothing shot and then drive him to the hospital easily.
I said (smiling): a beautiful and effective method.
He said: you can deal in the same way with the devil if he starts to rave at you with evil thoughts. Tell him if you are mad I am madder than you and start praying arrow prayers and repeat them often “Lord sanctify my eyes, sanctify my eyes …” until the thoughts quiet down and the devil starts to leave you and go away. Frankly speaking you either bully on the devil or the devil bullies on you!!!
A young boy was playing in the street in front of the building where they live, another boy, four years older than him started to fight with him and neck him. The boy screamed loudly “Papa …. Papa” what will the father do when he hears his son screaming?
I said: For sure he will go down fast and save his son and hits the older boy and break his bones.
He said: perfect, but if his son called him in a weak and careless voice “Father a boy necked me come fast and help me I am tired” and laughed while calling him what will his father do?
I said (angrily): surely he will think that they are playing and will not rescue him.
He said: If the human father does this what will our heavenly Father do He will speed up and help us. Just scream to Him with all your might and He will come fast and bruise the devil under your feet shortly (Romans16:20)
Also, create an emergency state
I said: and what is this emergency state Father?
He said: every person has his weak point, a weak sense, the devil knows it very well also each person knows it about himself very well because of his repeated falls, therefore he has to create an emergency status.
In the old days when a big army attacked a small city, all the people would go inside the city and a crier would call out “shut the doors, fortify the walls, shut the gates and all come in” and they start to have an emergency on the walls. The enemy would come and siege the city and start to examine the wall to find the weak points and the choppy parts to break through them and try to break the wall from them and if the city was not fully aware
Of its weak points and if it is not completely ready with enough precautions, those points will be the reason for this city to fall.
Also, each human being has his weak points
One person’s weak point is his eyes the other his tongue the other his sentiments. The weak point could be a certain group or a certain person, a place or a transport. Each one should pinpoint his weak points and the characters and places that offend him and try as much as possible to avoid them. If this is not possible, before meeting them or going to those places, he should pray to God to protect him safely. If he prays and asks God meekly and seriously, he will surely receive what he asked for. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
I said: you promised me, Father, to tell me about three things to relieve me from the bad pictures and the impure things that are stored in the sub-conscience.
He said: before telling you about the things stored in the sub-conscience, please read the sayings of the old fathers about protecting the senses and I’ll give them to you in a hard copy (The monks’ field p136-145)
I said: Thank you Father, but I think the old fathers are too scrupulous, would this suit me?
He said: Protecting the senses suits everybody, son. The more we are fought with bad thoughts the more we need to be scrupulous in the protection of our senses. Definitely, it will not all come at once but step by step and we have to judge wrong as wrong and sin as sin. As for the sanctification of the sub-conscience, it goes with the Egyptian proverb “When the merchant is bankrupted he will search his old accounts”
My spirit, draw His wound in front of you and hide in it when your enemy irritates you. (The Godly Mass)
I said: What does this mean, Father?
He said: When we start to close the taps (control the five senses) and say No and use the arrow prayer, the devil becomes bankrupted and starts to fight against you using the old memories and bad dreams and offending memories in the sub-conscience.
I said: and how do I get rid of that?
The first thing to sanctify the sub-conscience is the picture of the crucified Christ
I said: what does this mean, Father?
He said: This point was often mentioned by Father Bishoy Kamel, it means that you look often to the picture of the crucified Christ. Put it on your desk, door, closet, computer, mobile and anywhere put it in front of you and look at it often as much as you can.
Nothing is greater and more effective in monastic life than for the fighter to throw himself in front of the cross of Christ – then he will be envied by the devils
(Mar Isaac el Souriany)
I said: why Father?
He said: The bible says “by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24) since the wounds of Christ are our healing from sins and from evil, look at them and save them in your memory. When the light prevails, darkness will vanish and when Christ’s picture enters your brain, all evil pictures will vanish.
When you are fighting against evil thoughts, imagine that you are running toward Golgotha and kneeling under the cross and taking from the blood of Jesus and saying “the blood of Christ purified me from all sins.
I said: would this get true and fast results?
He said: yes it will have true results, many people tried this before you as for the speed, this depends on your seriousness. The distance you make in five minutes when you are serious can be made in one hour if you are slow and lazy.
I said: with the grace of Christ I’ll be very serious. I wish from all my heart to get rid of the past and its tiresome and painful memories that demean me and disturb my life, what is the second thing, Father?
He said: to always hear hymns. Hear them at the dead time while you are going to the university, while you are on transports, while you are on the road and most effective when you are sleeping.
Happy is he who sleeps and your Holy Name on his lips, the devils cannot approach him
(Al Sheikh al Rohany)
I said: when I am sleeping?
He said: yes son when you are sleeping your brain is sleeping but your sub-conscience never sleeps. Does your heart say I’ll rest for an hour or two while you are sleeping?
I said: of course not if the heart rests then the human being will rest forever.
He said: Indeed when while you are sleeping the sub-conscience receives hymns and music more than while you are awake and busy with many other things.
I said: but I can’t sleep if there is any noise around.
He said: Many were like you, only on the first or second nights push yourself and after that, you will not be able to sleep without this music around. One of the Fathers was having an appendix surgery, when he was an aesthetic, he started to talk, the doctors and nurses said “Abouna usually takes other people’s confessions and now we are going to take Abouna’s confession” do you know what he said?
I said: I wonder what did he say?
He said: he started to recite the mass as if he was in the altar. Also, another father monk, when he went through an open heart surgery he started to say the hour prayers and many like them.
I said: I wish I could be like them.
He said: start by hearing while you are awake and while you are sleeping and you will achieve good results. Also, there is something called hymn healing.
I said: What is this hymn healing?
He said: when we are fought in a certain war, try to hear a suitable hymn until the war stops. Hear it several times at night and day for a whole week or longer. For example
When you face a war of doubts you can hear the hymn of “Sadek sadek ya rab ….” Which means You are true and honest Lord in your promises. When you are facing a war of lusts, hear the hymn of “You know Lord ….purify me purify me”. If it is a war of despair and self-diminishing hear the hymn saying “I am precious in You, you are the most precious One in my life ……” and so on choose the suitable hymn and keep on hearing it.
I said: and what is the third thing Father to sanctify the sub-conscience?
Nothing can overcome the bad old memories as much as plunging in the Holy Bible eagerly and finding its deep meaning
(Mar Isaac el Souriany)
He said: The third thing is
One verse each week a hundred times a day
I said: what does this mean?
He said: You choose one verse each week and repeat it a hundred times each day.
I said: I might say it, Father, with my tongue but without concentricity.
He said: repeat it even by your voice only. When you say it, it will sanctify your brain. The word of God is alive and is a two blades sword that cuts all the enemy’s bonds which bond you to evil and with the past. Just repeat it often and the sub-conscience will meditate on it alone, say some on the road and some before going to bed. Honestly speaking there is justice in spiritual life.
I said: what do you mean Father?
He said: when a person just looks with an evil eye or says an evil word or hears a bad word, Satan will make endless stories and series out of this and wars that never calm down.
Also when you look at Christ’s picture, or say a verse, or hear a hymn, the sub-conscience starts to think about this and becomes sanctified. When you overfill a glass with water, water will overflow, when you overfill it with Pepsi, Pepsi will overflow and when you overfill it with gas, gas will overflow. We are responsible for our thoughts, but this needs time and as St. Paul, the apostle said (Roman6:13)” Yield yourselves unto God as those that are alive from the dead and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God neither yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin”.
As we offered our members, sight, hearing and tongue, to evil and sin, we return and repent and offer them to Christ by looking at His picture and hearing His praises and repeating His words.
I said: Which verse would you like me to start with, Father?
He said: The first verse I started with, son was (Galatians 2:20)
Jesus loved me, and gave Himself for me
The word “Jesus” makes Christ a close friend who is dear to you. When you repeat the word “Jesus” often you will feel cherished with the closeness, friendship and the beauty of the Lord Jesus’ Name.
“Loved me” makes you feel the uniqueness in love and that He loved you personally. Everyone needs love and might not find love among his family or friends but with Jesus, he will this unique love “loved me” and will feel true satisfaction.
The word “gave himself” will always be connected with the picture of the cross which you have in front of you and meditate on the wounds and say: you could bear all this pain dear Jesus.
And “for me,” you say all this pain for me and I still commit sin, no, no, I will not commit sin another time, You suffered so much for me. Those thoughts and meditations might not be in your brain but if you just utter the verse, your sub-conscience will meditate on them.
I said: this is a beautiful verse Father, I will start to repeat it from now onwards.
He said: Yes son, When my Father told me, I started repeating it for a whole week, I continued for a month and then for a whole year, son.
I said: Sometimes I get some garbled thoughts about God (atheism) what can I do Father?
He said: Don’t worry, son. First, talk to God about them with an exposed face and inform Him about them until we reach our discussion about the reasons for those thoughts and how to treat them when we start talking about the dead mouse. Start from now onwards to apply those steps to fight bad thoughts and the most important thing is to be serious.
Be serious on the road and you will get clear results. If you are lazy and slow you will get slow results.
To remind you to control the thought:
** close the taps (controlling the five senses)
** say No (do not negotiate with the thought- no to semi-evil)
** The arrow prayer- use the psychiatrist method- create an emergency state.
Good bye son let’s meet next time in an important subject, the inner peace. Continue in the sectors and the good morning group and angle fixing until we meet.
I said: Can you remind me once more of the good morning group?
He said: When you wash your face in the morning say Lord let love you, Lord let me accept your love, Lord let me live with you.
Remember what Mar Isaac said, “Prayer strength is not in its quantity but it is in its continuity” every day you continue to pray and God will surely respond. We depend on the linkage and the insistence. If you love God you will hate sin and be liberated and you will witness Him as He will be with you.
I said: I will start Father, I will start.
He said: To start is not enough continue every day and the Lord will help you.
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