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||    Pope Shenouda    ||    Father Matta    ||    Bishop Mattaous    ||    Fr. Tadros Malaty    ||    Bishop Moussa    ||    Bishop Alexander    ||    Habib Gerguis    ||    Bishop Angealos    ||    Metropolitan Bishoy    ||

The Mind


The mind can either be holy and pure, evil and sinful, or reckless neither good nor evil, but only a waste of time.


􀂙 The reckless mind thinks of nonsense, or talks

them. And there may be no sin in this other than

wasting time in such thoughts…! And how beautiful is

the saying of one of t he fathers: “Sometimes we

strive in ourselves in knowing matters, that we are

not condemned on the Last Day for not knowing”!!

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

The pure holy mind is like thinking of God

Himself. And that is the highest level of

thinking. As we say in the psalm (Ps 42:1) “As the

deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for

You, O God.” And “My soul thirsts for God, for the

living God. When shall I come and appear before

God?” (Ps 42:2).

The holy thinking is thinking in God, His heaven,

His angels and His commandments, these are all good

pure thoughts… Or thinking in doing good deeds.

Like a man sitting and thinking: what good deeds can

he do today? So that no single day passes without

him doing good in it… or thinking of service and

helping others… or thinking of God’s Kingdom and

Church… or thinking of God’s benefits and of

repentance and how one can go back to God and

make amends with Him…

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

And of the Holy thinking is: praying with the mind

while moving the lips with no sounds coming out,

meditation, constant prayer like what the fathers

were keeping their minds busy with in the desert.

Or it is thinking of God’s love as the bible says:

“You shall love the LORD your God with all

your heart, with all your soul, and with all your

mind” (Mt 22:37). Notice that it says: with your

mind and not only with your mind.

The person can love God. But can he give all his

mind to God?! No doubt, this is a very high level. May

God help us reach it… And of the beautiful verses about the pure holy

mind is he saying of the apostle:

“But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Co


Imagine how would it be like, if the man can think

with the mind of Christ?

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

􀂙 As for the sinful thought, it is of many types:

either a lustful thought, angry though, revenge,

bad arrangement, pride or majesty and false


􀂙 And the pride thought is what Satan has fallen into

and was the reason for his perdition. As was said

about him in the book of Prophet Isaiah “For you have

said in your heart: "I will ascend into heaven, I will

exalt my throne above the stars of God;… I will

ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like

the Most High.'” (Is 14: 13,14). It is strange that he

thought of becoming like God!!

􀂙 As for false glory thoughts, they are those in which

a man imagines for himself status of majesty and

they may be called: “Daydreaming”… and says in

himself “I will become so and so…” and they all are

imaginations that are hard to reach… and then he

wakes up mentally and finds out that he is nothing!

􀂙 And one of the most dangerous sinful

thought is blasphemies…

or heretic thinking and thoughts of heresy in faith and


􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

The mind has two levels: one is deep and the

other is superficial…

And the mind can work in both together… like a

man praying and his prayers are in the deep the level

of his mind and yet he is thinking of other matters

that float in the superficial level. And if that thinking

on the superficial level increases very much, it goes

into the deep level of the mind and the prayer goes to

the superficial level! Until this person does not know

anymore whether he prayed or not?!

This is called stray thinking or aimless


􀂙 And this aimless thinking that goes into the deep

level of the mind may go on for days, the person

sleeps with it, wakes up with it and walks with it. And

once he calms down a little, this thinking comes back

to him once again because it was admitted into the

deep level of his mind and continued. And maybe the

psalm says about it “How long shall I take counsel in

my soul, Having sorrow in my heart daily? How long

will my enemy be exalted over me?” (Ps 13:2)… such

a person, the thoughts rule in him…

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

This deep thinking that goes on for days may

come in the subconscious and settles there in the

Back Head. It settles there then comes out in the

form of dreams, doubts, other thoughts or lusts…


And sometimes a person is asked about his sinful

dreams: are they counted as sins, and he apologizes

saying that he does not have a will in them!!

We say they are counted as sins if the reason

behind those dreams was something that was in his

conscience before that: whether a desire, thought,

reading or a scene… and those dreams are considered

as matters that are almost willingly happening…

􀂙 That is because there are matters that happen

willingly and others that happen unwillingly but the

reason behind them is a previous willing act that has

disappeared in the subconscious then appeared here

as a dream.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

And while thinking about sinful thoughts, we

have to distinguish between two matters: the

mind fight and the mind falling…

The mind fight is that an idea comes in the mind

and the person does not accept it but tries to throw it

out. And it keeps on coming back… until he finally

gets triumph over it… this is an external war mostly

from Satan. And the person’s resistance is counted as

a righteousness. And he is not considered to have

been falling into sin.

But the thinking is considered as a sin if the

person accepts it and was satisfied with it or

tried to enjoy it and was lenient with it willingly.

And left it go on without resistance. And this thinking

turned into stories and tales… Here the person has

fallen into sin…

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

So the mind fight comes unwillingly, but the

falling with mind is a willing action. The mind

fight is what a person resists. But the falling is

what he accepts.

The mind fight: if the person continues to fight it,

then grace comes to him and helps him and these

thoughts leave him because of his integrity.

But falling with thoughts continues and gets

longer and develops into worse.

Sinful thinking tests you: will you accept it or not?

If you accept it, it continues, and if not it runs away

from you…

And mostly the person accepts the thought when

he has what is similar to it in his heart or what he is

missing! He accepts the thinking of sin when there is

a lust in his heart for the sin…

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

And here we would like to research together

the relation between the mind and the heart, or

the heart’s relation with the mind. How does

that affect the development of the thoughts.

Actually, heart and mind over together


What comes from the mind reaches the heart.

And what comes from the heart reaches the mind.

And if thoughts go down from the mind to the heart

they convert into it to lust or desire. But if the desire

comes from the heart, it turns into a thought… so like

I said: they work interchangeably…

And the Lord Christ explained this in His saying:

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart

brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the

evil treasure brings forth evil things.” (Mt 12:43, 35).

If in the heart there was a certain lust, it emits

out of it lustful thoughts. But if lustful thoughts come

from the outside, the heart welcomes them because it

has inside what is similar to them…

We will now talk about the thought


It is possible that the person may have a thought

in his mind and this thought develops to an emotion

that he use, then this emotion develops and becomes

a desire or a lust.

Or the thought may develop and affects his

psychology or nerves or it may keep developing until

it becomes an action that is done…

And if it is done, it is possible that it stays in his

subconscious and comes out in many forms or result

in the birth of other thoughts…

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Here we would like to discuss the relation

between the thought and the will:

The thought may come from outside. And how

much it develops depends on your will…

If you were lenient with it, it takes control over


But if you fight it, you take control over it…

So do you control thoughts or do they control


The faithful heart is not lenient with thoughts, and

it does not allow them to dare to stay and extend

their roots into it.

So if the thought comes into you, fight it and do

not let it get deep into you. and there is a beautiful

advice that St. Paul the apostle says to us:

“bringing every thought into captivity to the

obedience of Christ” (2 Co 10:5).

Meaning, if a thought comes, you take it captive,

and convert it into the obedience of Christ.

And in order to take the thought captive and have

triumph over it, you need to know the sources of the


􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

So what are the sources of thoughts?

There is an internal source that comes form the

heart like the love of sin for example.

And an external source that comes from many

reasons like the senses for example.

And the fathers say that the senses are the

doors to the mind.

So what you see, hear or read, you think about.

And what you touch or smell, you think about. Thus,

he who wants to preserve his thoughts has to

preserve his senses. He should not let his senses

astray, see heat and touch as it wishes! He has then

to control his senses so that they do not enter to his

thoughts what tires him.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

There is another external source for

thoughts which is thoughts contagiousness…

There may be a sinful thought in a person that he

pours into the ears of others and from there into their

minds and thus infects them. And the thought moves

from him to others… and this is the thought

contagiousness. And thus St. Paul the apostle says:

“Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts

good habits."” (1 Co 15:33).

And so we see many of those who fell into

addiction for example or smoking or such things,

most probably they got it through thoughts

contagiousness. For, from their company, someone

has infected them.


Thought contagiousness may also come

through reading. Therefore, the person must make

good choices of what he reads, so that these readings

do not bring him thoughts.

And the same thing can b said about the media

and the harmful conversations. And the person should

be careful in picking his friends…

But if the thought comes from the devil, he

should remember the bible’s saying:

“Resist the devil and he will flee from you”

(Jas 4:7).

And remember the saying of St Paul the apostle

in rebuking the Hebrews: “You have not yet resisted

to bloodshed, striving against sin” (He 12:4).

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

We move now to the thought therapy and

how it is?

The matter needs precaution, immunity or


􀂙 Precaution means staying far away from the

reasons that bring sinful thoughts.

􀂙 Immunity means guarding your thoughts with

God’s love and virtue love… and keeping your mind

busy so that you do not leave a space that tires you.

And as the saying says: “The mind of the lazy is the

devil’s lab”.

Keep your mind busy all the time with what is

useful. So if the devil comes and hits the door of you

mind, he finds them locked before him so he does not

know how to get into you. and as was said about the

virgin of the song that she is “A garden enclosed… A

spring shut up, A fountain sealed.” (Sgs 4:12). For

righteousness has closed her doors before the enemy

of good…

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

So what is the therapy for thoughts?

If an evil thought attacks you, try to change

the flow of your thinking:

Either through reading, studying, getting busy

talking with someone or prayer… the most important

thing is to escape from the idea by any means…

Or by getting busy with other thoughts, on the

condition that they are deeper. Because superficial

thoughts do not save you.

Here I would like to say that solitude and

loneliness may not be useful in fighting


It is useful for the person who knows how to take

good advantage of solitude and loneliness in sacred

thinking and God’s love. But they harm the person

who does not find something that keeps him busy in

his solitude so the devil comes to him and tell him: I

am ready to keep you busy and entertain you in your


􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Another advice: if you go to sleep, sleep on a

time at which you are tired and heavy headed so

that you sleep directly with a period at which

thoughts tire you.

Do not sleep with your thoughts astray here and

there, so that you do not stop at an evil station that

disturbs your mind with thoughts. Also it is useful to

read a spiritual reading before going to sleep so that

it becomes a topic for your thinking…

Also it is better to consecrate your bed with

prayer before sleeping.

And that’s how you keep away from astray

thoughts and sinful ideas.

And may our Lord’s angels be with you, guarding

your thoughts so that you may never be lost…

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