We men are easily prone to sins of thought. Therefore, He who has formed each heart individually, knowing that the impulse received from the intention constitutes the major element in sin, has ordained that purity in the ruling part of our soul be our primary concern. That faculty by which we are especially prone to commit sin surely merits great care and vigilance. As the more provident physicians offset physical weakness by precautionary measures taken in advance, so the Protector of us all and the true Physician of our souls takes possession first and with stronger garrisons of that part of the soul which He knows is most liable to sin. The actions performed by the body require time, favourable opportunity, physical exertion, assistance and other accessories. The movements of the mind, however, take place independently of time; they are performed without weariness; they are accomplished effortlessly; every occassion is appropriate for them.

Saint Basil the Great, “Give Heed to Thyself,” in Saint Basil. Ascetical Works. Translated by Sister M. Monica Wagner, C.S.C. (New York: Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1950), 432

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