28 July 1955
Thoughts are of three kinds: human, angelic, and demonic. Human thoughts are nothing other than fanciful images of things of this world,.said St Hesychios. Angelic thoughts are always good ones and there is peace and stillness and even a kind of joy in the heart. Demonic thoughts are always sinful and there is a sense of confusion in the heart. At times some people say: 'Take a step and you sin'. It is wrong to say that. In the Holy Fathers all thoughts that come are called suggestions; even if they are bad they are sinless. By our own will we can either accept them or not. If we do not accept them, they are sinless; but if we accept them and enter into converse with them, then they become sinful and will lead to bodily sin. Sometimes unpleasant thoughts come: in the past mistakes have been made, and suddenly they appear like a flash of lightning. I suspect that such thoughts are natural human recollections of the past. But demonic thoughts are always sinful: they have to do with anger, fornication, love of money, conceit, pride and other passions, and the heart is always confused. Of course it is difficult, even impossible for the layman to distinguish the causes of thoughts. For some thoughts are writers' thoughts, some are inventors', and some merchants' thoughts. "