Reflections on a Saying of a Desert Christian: Anonymous

“If you wish to leave sinful desires and avoid foul language, do not act foolishly. Avoid the circumstances in which these weaknesses arise,” advises a young monk of modern times.”

Acting foolishly comes so easily at times, does it not?  I can think of situations when a particular emotion has been triggered and instead of pausing and reflecting, I react.  That has yet to work out to my benefit.

Avoiding circumstances which play to my weaknesses is a great idea.  Perhaps we can all benefit from avoiding those places and situations which cause us to sin.  I am reminded of the monastic practice of custody of the senses and I found a wonderful definition on the Catholic Culture website.

“In Christian asceticism the practice of controlling the use of the senses, especially the eyes, in order to foster union with God and preserve oneself in virtue. It is founded on the premise that “nothings is in the mind that was not first in the senses.” Sense experience inevitably produces thoughts in the mind; thoughts become desires; and desires lead to actions. Morally good actions, therefore, ultimately depend on a judicious guard of sensations.”

Seems to me to be what this anonymous monk meant.

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