Reflections on a Saying of a Desert Christian: Anonymous

“My unclean thoughts are about to kill me,” a brother confessed to a certain elder.

“Do you know what mothers do when they want to wean their babies? They put a bitter substance on their breast. Likewise, put in your mind, instead of some bitter substance, the memory of death and eternal damnation and immediately you will cut off any unclean thought,” the wise elder advised him.”

Back in the day, I was taught that I did not have any control over my thoughts, only what I chose to do about them.  I took that to mean I could indulge all sorts of negative thoughts about myself and others as long as I did not act on any of them.  That did not work out so well for me and only added to my struggles with Major Depressive Disorder.

However, given that I have this form of mental illness, the advice above would not have helped me. Would it help anyone, I wonder?

What did help me is a *****************WONDERFUL********************  book called “Thoughts Matter: The Practice of the Spiritual Life” by Mary Margaret Funk.  Sadly, I see that book is out of print but a newer edition has been published. Thoughts Matter: Discovering the Spiritual Journey

I recommend it and everything she has written.

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