Temptations Attack from Outside and Inside

 

From the inside, that is from the heart come all our sins. For Christ has said to the Apostles: “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man” because it would mean to wash your hands “but that which cometh out of the mouth”. Because what comes out, comes from the heart. From the heart come adulteries, crimes, pride, insults. As in hell, they come out of our heart, and when they do, we are tempted from the inside.

Outer temptations come together with the fifth senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and feeling, called by the Holy Fathers “windows of the soul”. Through these five senses, man allows in his soul great temptations, unless he is watchful.

Outer temptation

From the inside, that is from the heart come all our sins. For Christ has said to the Apostles: “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man” because it would mean to wash your hands “but that which cometh out of the mouth”. Because what comes out, comes from the heart. From the heart come adulteries, crimes, pride, insults. As in a hell, they come out of our heart, and when they do, we are tempted from the inside.

Outer temptations come together with the fifth senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and feeling, called by the Holy Fathers “windows of the soul”. Through these five senses, man allows in his soul great temptations, unless he is watchful. These five senses are five natural streams through which the devil pours into our soul all sort of passions and evil things. Devils use another temptation. Much bigger than these five senses: imagination. Imagination is thinner than the senses but thicker than the mind. Imagination is also called trouble feeling. It troubles the soul not only with what it has seen but also with what is has tasted, smelled and felt. It troubles the soul by all means. This is the reason why watching your imagination is more difficult than watching your five senses of your mind.

Inside temptation

From the inside, that is from the heart come all our sins. For Christ has said to the Apostles: “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man” because it would mean to wash your hands “but that which cometh out of the mouth”. Because what comes out, comes from the heart. From the heart come adulteries, crimes, pride, insults. As in a hell, they come out of our heart, and when they do, we are tempted from the inside.

Saint Clement said: “Watch the gate of your heart for it may not receive anything from the outside and nothing from the inside may come out!” Stop those from the inside with the help of the prayer “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner”, and those from the outside by thinking of the labours of hell, the joy of heaven, prayer and other good deeds.

(Translation from Arhimandritul Ilie Cleopa, Ne vorbește Părintele Cleopa, ediția a II-a, volumul VI, Editura Mănăstirea Sihăstria, Vânători-Neamț, 2004, pp. 34-35)