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Author Topic: Thoughts isn't sin  (Read 2145 times) Average Rating: 5
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« on: July 28, 2011, 01:19:13 PM »

I was reading the evil thoughts prayer thread and how someone was having trouble with blaspheming the Holy Spirit thoughts. I thought that thoughts was temptation and then what you DID with that thought was the sin??

Jesus must have had thoughts but he didn't give in to the thoughts --> temptation so he didn't sin.

yes no yes no yes no??
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2011, 01:42:04 PM »

So far as I understand, if an immoral thought appears but your mind does not start dwelling on it, then there is no sin. However, if you dwell on an immoral thought, it becomes sinful. Also, a thought can begin as something not sinful, but morph into something sinful as you think about it more and take it in a different direction. An example of this would be when Jesus said: "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matt. 5:28).  Noticing that someone is attractive is one thing, but dwelling on their attractiveness and starting to lust after them becomes something else.
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2011, 02:32:39 PM »

Thoughts are not all of the same kind.  If a sinful suggestion or thought comes into our mind, we may immediately say "Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me" and cross ourselves, and let the thought go by just as quickly as it came.  Or, we can accept the thought, dwell on it, let it captivate our attention, act it out in our imagination, and thereby cultivate the corresponding passion.  As we toy with and delight in sinful thoughts, we become responsible for our internal consent, and this internal consent is sinful. 

After the baptism of the Lord in the Jordan, the Lord was tempted by Satan in the desert.  When Satan made to Christ various sinful suggestions, the Lord immediately opposed and rejected them.  He did not ponder them or give internal consent to them in any way.  It is in this internal consent, even when we fail to act out the sinful passion due to fear, lack of opportunity, etc., that makes us responsible for the initial thought giving birth to the passion which leads to sin.

"But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death."   (James 1:14,15)

As these verses show, it is not a passing thought that is a sin, but sin is conceived when the thought is cultivated by desire. 
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2011, 02:57:54 PM »

This is a pretty neat saying:

“Thoughts are like airplanes flying in the air. If you ignore them, there is no problem. If you pay attention to them, you create an airport inside you and permit them to land!” - Elder Paisios

Cool

As-Salamu alaykum!
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2011, 03:13:16 PM »

My go to guy:

Quote from: St. Anthony the Great
1. When the holy Abba Anthony lived in the desert he was beset by accidie, and attacked by many sinful thoughts. He said to God, "Lord, I wand to be saved but these thoughts do not leave me alone; what shall I do in my affliction? How can I be saved?" A short while afterwards, when he got up to go out, Anthony say a man like himself sitting at his work, getting up from his work to pray, then sitting down again and plaiting a rope, then getting up again to pray. It was an angel of the Lord sent to correct and reassure him. He heard the angel saying to him, "Do this and you will be saved." At these words, Anthony was filled with joy and courage. He did this, and he was saved.

http://ishmaelite.blogspot.com/2010/04/thirty-eight-sayings-of-st-anthony.html

Sinful thoughts here translates logismoi, if ain't mistaken.

Logismoi can be parsed as "sinful" or "tempting" thoughts, but also just the constant whirl of stuff that goes through our mind.

Another saying of the Desert Fathers. Grabbed this off the internet from a version in English translation that I don't own:

Quote
One brother came to Abbot Pastor and said, "All sorts of distracting thoughts keep coming into my mind, and I'm in danger because of them." Then the elder pushed him out into the open air and said, "Open up your cloak and capture the wind in it!" But he objected, "I can't do it." So the elder said to him, "Exactly! And if you can't catch the wind, neither can you prevent distracting thoughts from coming into your head. Your job is just to say no to them."

http://books.google.com/books?id=9lvo4EmkTQsC&pg=PA43&lpg=PA43&dq=desert+father+catching+the+wind&source=bl&ots=IrGDLQ1YBe&sig=oOCl-a5XcMvVXW0FMK7d_3iKK7g&hl=en&ei=WrMxTsO6F7PIsQLdv7iOCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

I wish I had access to my notebook I lent someone in which I have some notes I've taken, cause I can't quote this exactly nor attribute it.

A Church Father suggested in short: just don't dialog with your thoughts, let them go. Cross yourself and carry on.

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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2011, 01:52:12 PM »

I was reading the evil thoughts prayer thread and how someone was having trouble with blaspheming the Holy Spirit thoughts.

This thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,38272.0.html
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2011, 02:17:31 PM »

I had heard that short prayers, such as the Jesus prayer, are ideal for helping to stave off bad thoughts. When fear or temptation threatens to 'dig in' and derail your thoughts, make the sign of the Cross and say a prayer.  angel
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2011, 03:34:37 PM »

^ What he said.
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2011, 04:05:51 PM »

This is a pretty neat saying:

“Thoughts are like airplanes flying in the air. If you ignore them, there is no problem. If you pay attention to them, you create an airport inside you and permit them to land!” - Elder Paisios

Cool

As-Salamu alaykum!
What happens when the planes stop flying altogether?
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2011, 04:16:30 PM »

I was reading the evil thoughts prayer thread and how someone was having trouble with blaspheming the Holy Spirit thoughts.

This thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,38272.0.html

nah
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2011, 04:20:15 PM »

Oh, my bad.
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2011, 04:49:44 PM »

Oh, my bad.
Roll Eyes of course it was your post lolOl
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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2011, 05:17:21 PM »

This is a pretty neat saying:

“Thoughts are like airplanes flying in the air. If you ignore them, there is no problem. If you pay attention to them, you create an airport inside you and permit them to land!” - Elder Paisios

Cool

As-Salamu alaykum!
What happens when the planes stop flying altogether?
I guess that would mean that you've reached a good deal of perfection. Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2011, 08:47:26 AM »

This is a pretty neat saying:

“Thoughts are like airplanes flying in the air. If you ignore them, there is no problem. If you pay attention to them, you create an airport inside you and permit them to land!” - Elder Paisios

Cool

As-Salamu alaykum!
What happens when the planes stop flying altogether?
I guess that would mean that you've reached a good deal of perfection. Smiley


Or death.
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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2011, 08:59:59 AM »

The logismoi are like static on the radio, they become a problem (i.e. sin) when you start to try to tune in on them to get their frequency to listen.
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« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2011, 09:19:14 AM »

The logismoi are like static on the radio, they become a problem (i.e. sin) when you start to try to tune in on them to get their frequency to listen.
I like your analogy. Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2011, 09:29:22 AM »

The logismoi are like static on the radio, they become a problem (i.e. sin) when you start to try to tune in on them to get their frequency to listen.
I like your analogy. Smiley

Yeah, it is nice, just will be lost on anyone 15 or younger. They probably have no idea what a radio is, much less having to "tune" into a frequency. Seek button.  //:=)
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« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2011, 09:32:02 AM »

The logismoi are like static on the radio, they become a problem (i.e. sin) when you start to try to tune in on them to get their frequency to listen.
I like your analogy. Smiley

Yeah, it is nice, just will be lost on anyone 15 or younger. They probably have no idea what a radio is, much less having to "tune" into a frequency. Seek button.  //:=)

Bad thoughts are like pop-ups on the internet, they become a problem when you dwell on them instead closing the browser window. Wink
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« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2011, 07:30:59 AM »

Thanks. Most of your replies are rli helpfull.

How much is sin a problem to people then?? I mean Christian people are all changing so they will eventually change and the sin would go eventually and not be a bother to them?? Or is it that sin is so bad and dangerous that it will stop someone growing and changing??
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« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2011, 09:26:25 AM »

I mean Christian people are all changing so they will eventually change and the sin would go eventually and not be a bother to them??
Well, that's the goal anyway. Although the reality can be somewhat more challenging. Think about people trying to quit smoking, or to lose weight. Sin is not "just" wrong or bad actions - it's kind of like a chronic disease.

Quote
Or is it that sin is so bad and dangerous that it will stop someone growing and changing??
All sin is bad and dangerous - to our spiritual health - and can stop someone from growing or changing.
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« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2011, 09:51:18 AM »

Thanks Katherine. I understand the overall concept of sin being a disease but like individual actions people have control over unlike addictions where smoking and some food is addictive like carbs or high processed stuff is too.

So i can see how addictions is a disease under the wider heading of the overall diseased humanity.... but some of the other choices is people choosing to hurt others.

Ok so if all sin is dangerous and can lead to someone stopping to grow in their faith then is it better not to have any thing at all around you that encourages sin?? But then im not understanding the whole temptaion thing seen that Jesus said its what comes OUT of a man that makes him unclean not what goes IN to him. Saint Matthew 15:11
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« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2011, 10:44:47 AM »

Thanks Katherine. I understand the overall concept of sin being a disease but like individual actions people have control over unlike addictions where smoking and some food is addictive like carbs or high processed stuff is too.

So i can see how addictions is a disease under the wider heading of the overall diseased humanity.... but some of the other choices is people choosing to hurt others.

Yes, people have control over sin, theoretically. Personally I have a problem with impatience and anger - people seem to go out of their way to p*** me off! Through confession, I have been able to identify a split second where I make the decision to a)keep my mouth shut, b) respond gently or c) cut someone off at the knees. It took a surprisingly long time for me to realize this. I'm now working on making that time period longer, so I have more time to make a better decision.

Quote
Ok so if all sin is dangerous and can lead to someone stopping to grow in their faith then is it better not to have any thing at all around you that encourages sin??
How would you do that, exactly?  Huh I suppose you could follow precedence and go out in the desert to live as a hermit, but we learn from the Desert Fathers that temptations and sin follows you, because it's in you. As my granny used to say, "wherever you go, there you are." (It used to drive us crazy!)

Quote
But then im not understanding the whole temptaion thing seen that Jesus said its what comes OUT of a man that makes him unclean not what goes IN to him. Saint Matthew 15:11
Not sure I understand?
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« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2011, 12:05:31 PM »


Quote
But then im not understanding the whole temptaion thing seen that Jesus said its what comes OUT of a man that makes him unclean not what goes IN to him. Saint Matthew 15:11
Not sure I understand?
It's not the temptation that makes us unclean, but what we do with it when it comes. Have you ever been under a pigeon at the wrong time? What do you do next? Clean it up right away - or parade it around to show off your "trophy"?
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« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2011, 12:34:40 PM »


Quote
But then im not understanding the whole temptaion thing seen that Jesus said its what comes OUT of a man that makes him unclean not what goes IN to him. Saint Matthew 15:11
Not sure I understand?
It's not the temptation that makes us unclean, but what we do with it when it comes. Have you ever been under a pigeon at the wrong time? What do you do next? Clean it up right away - or parade it around to show off your "trophy"?

Kill the pigeon





Katherine, the part of my thing you didnt understand was exactly what your granny said. Thanks.
I relate to the whole impatience thing that you have. Mines more out of getting my own way more than actually being impatient. I can be patient when i want to be.
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« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2011, 01:10:47 PM »


Quote
But then im not understanding the whole temptaion thing seen that Jesus said its what comes OUT of a man that makes him unclean not what goes IN to him. Saint Matthew 15:11
Not sure I understand?
It's not the temptation that makes us unclean, but what we do with it when it comes. Have you ever been under a pigeon at the wrong time? What do you do next? Clean it up right away - or parade it around to show off your "trophy"?

Kill the pigeon

"By George, she's got it! By George, she's got it! Now once again, where does it rain?"*  So be armed and ready. That's how to deal with temptations.

Now, will someone please give me the same advice  Embarrassed

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« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2011, 02:05:57 PM »

My Fair Lady, Proff Henry Higgins (whoever the heck he is)

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« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2011, 02:08:08 PM »

"By George, she's got it! By George, she's got it! Now once again, where does it rain?"* 

"On the plain! On the plain!"

(too easy...)
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« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2011, 02:09:19 PM »


Quote
But then im not understanding the whole temptaion thing seen that Jesus said its what comes OUT of a man that makes him unclean not what goes IN to him. Saint Matthew 15:11
Not sure I understand?
It's not the temptation that makes us unclean, but what we do with it when it comes. Have you ever been under a pigeon at the wrong time? What do you do next? Clean it up right away - or parade it around to show off your "trophy"?

Kill the pigeon

"By George, she's got it! By George, she's got it! Now once again, where does it rain?"*  So be armed and ready. That's how to deal with temptations.

Now, will someone please give me the same advice  Embarrassed

*Yes, I can source that quote - but it will be a bit of fun to find out who else can or can't. Mods, give me a few hours, OK?



no but if its what comes OUT of a person that makes them unclean then

the temptation (pigeon) comes along and plops on your head
then its what you DO after that that is the sin, right??
so is the right thing to do to bless the pigeon not shoot it??
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« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2011, 08:25:24 PM »

My Fair Lady, Proff Henry Higgins (whoever the heck he is)


So did you REALLY know that, Eliza? OOPS, I mean, Poppy?

Anybody else out there remember seeing the movie in the theatre when it first came out? The 60s was certainly the golden decade for musicals.
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« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2011, 08:35:28 PM »

so is the right thing to do to bless the pigeon not shoot it??
If you know where the pigeons roost, you should walk on the other side of the street.
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« Reply #30 on: August 04, 2011, 08:36:22 PM »

The 60s was certainly the golden decade for musicals.

You and Liora are killing me with this stuff.
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« Reply #31 on: August 04, 2011, 08:46:05 PM »

The 60s was certainly the golden decade for musicals.

You and Liora are killing me with this stuff.
"Proposition: It's far better to be alive than to be dead."

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« Reply #32 on: August 05, 2011, 12:37:26 AM »

My Fair Lady, Proff Henry Higgins (whoever the heck he is)


So did you REALLY know that, Eliza? OOPS, I mean, Poppy?

Anybody else out there remember seeing the movie in the theatre when it first came out? The 60s was certainly the golden decade for musicals.

Yes, at the Coronet Theatre in San Francisco. Visually stunning and the music is often in my mind, still.
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« Reply #33 on: August 05, 2011, 01:06:56 AM »

Yes, people have control over sin, theoretically. Personally I have a problem with impatience and anger - people seem to go out of their way to p*** me off! Through confession, I have been able to identify a split second where I make the decision to a)keep my mouth shut, b) respond gently or c) cut someone off at the knees. It took a surprisingly long time for me to realize this.

Similar situation here.  I began to identify this towards the end of this past Great Lent.

Quote
I'm now working on making that time period longer, so I have more time to make a better decision.
True fasting helped a great deal for me.  It was as if there was a delay where I was able to govern my response.  Perhaps some do this without the fasting, but apparently I need it.  Sounds so easy...
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« Reply #34 on: August 05, 2011, 02:54:04 AM »

My Fair Lady, Proff Henry Higgins (whoever the heck he is)


So did you REALLY know that, Eliza? OOPS, I mean, Poppy?

Anybody else out there remember seeing the movie in the theatre when it first came out? The 60s was certainly the golden decade for musicals.

of course i looked it up on dogpile    why would i even just know that?? lolOl i dislike musicals inTENSEley
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« Reply #35 on: August 05, 2011, 02:57:24 AM »

so is the right thing to do to bless the pigeon not shoot it??
If you know where the pigeons roost, you should walk on the other side of the street.

but the bible says to pray for your enemies and bless the ones that curse you. so does that even mean you pray for the devil??  or is it to late for him??
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« Reply #36 on: August 05, 2011, 07:59:51 AM »

Dear Poppy,
Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos tried to pray for the repentance of the evil one.  One time the Elder saw the devil outside his cell, laughing at him. By this he discerned it was futile, since the devil does not want to change. 
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« Reply #37 on: August 05, 2011, 09:40:11 AM »

Poppy my experience with sin is that for every one committed, I have usually thought about it before actually committing it --- in some cases several times playing it in my mind before I commit it. This is why confession and a good spiritual father /mother is so important---you can discuss not only your deeds but your thoughts as well. Our spiritual fathers and mothers advise us on how to not take action on the sin, how to change the way we think and act that lead to physical sin.

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« Reply #38 on: August 05, 2011, 09:52:56 AM »

Thanks Thomas. You think its possible to change the way someone thinks and feel so that people won't even sin inside themself?? The bible says the heart is decietfully wicked above all thing and who can know it??
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pasadi97
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« Reply #39 on: August 05, 2011, 10:17:01 AM »

Actually the devil was transformed inmto angel of light by a nun. There is a history book recording this called Evergetinos.

So one nun was supposed to ring the bells to wake up the nuns for midnight prayers. However the devil did play tricks comming and ringing the bells at different hours cusing her trouble and punishments.

So one night she was thinking what if I came near bells and read some psalms and see what is going on. So she came and started reading and when hearing bells she looked and saw the sick angel ringing the bell.
 She said:
Nun:In the name of Jesus Christ, stay there. May the power of God make you stay there (or link).
Sick angel:Please let me go , and I will not come anymore.
Nun:No, stay there.
Sick angel:Please let me go and I swear I won't come back to this monastery.
Nun:No, sit there to come the other nuns because they punished me so many times because they Believed I ring the bells at bad times.
Sick angel: let me go
Nun:No, may Holy Cross and power of God make you stay where you are.


She used the name of Jesus and power of cross or prayer to God to make the sick angel still. Then she asked the other nuns to come and see sick angel ringing the bells and they come and some run back.

Anyhow she told sick angel that he needs to ask God for mercy which sick angel did not do. So she said:
Nun:Say God have mercy.
Sick angel: I can't.
Nun: May the power of Holy Cross burn you.Sick angekl: Please let me go and I will tell to all Hell what happen to me.
Nun:No, say God have mercy.
Sick angel:So seeing that he was burned by power of Holy cross the sick angel said God have mercy and turned like sun and flied into the sky.

So a nun did what other people could not do, to transfomr a sick anegl into an angel of light.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 10:20:16 AM by pasadi97 » Logged
genesisone
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« Reply #40 on: August 05, 2011, 10:52:05 AM »

The 60s was certainly the golden decade for musicals.

You and Liora are killing me with this stuff.
"Proposition: It's far better to be alive than to be dead."

Hey, Poppy: NO GOOGLING!
orthonorm: Did you not realize that this was another nail in your coffin  Grin ?
(I guess I'll let you google if you need to.
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IsmiLiora
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« Reply #41 on: August 05, 2011, 01:14:40 PM »

I totally had to Google that line because it sounded so familiar and I couldn't figure it out.....in my defense, I've only seen it twice. Grin
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She's touring the facility/and picking up slack.
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"For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow." Ecclesiastes 1:18
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pasadi97
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« Reply #42 on: August 06, 2011, 09:06:20 AM »

actually when Jesus said that he will give powewrs to people over sick angels he meant it. The problem is that we may have lost this power through forgeting about it. The source of Christianity are the teachings of Jesus kept by Eastern orthodox Church not the mind of man  so it is valuable to look over Christian books kept by EasterN orthodox Church, valid hiostorical documents named tradition.
Actually the devil was transformed inmto angel of light by a nun. There is a history book recording this called Evergetinos.

So one nun was supposed to ring the bells to wake up the nuns for midnight prayers. However the devil did play tricks comming and ringing the bells at different hours cusing her trouble and punishments.

So one night she was thinking what if I came near bells and read some psalms and see what is going on. So she came and started reading and when hearing bells she looked and saw the sick angel ringing the bell.
 She said:
Nun:In the name of Jesus Christ, stay there. May the power of God make you stay there (or link).
Sick angel:Please let me go , and I will not come anymore.
Nun:No, stay there.
Sick angel:Please let me go and I swear I won't come back to this monastery.
Nun:No, sit there to come the other nuns because they punished me so many times because they Believed I ring the bells at bad times.
Sick angel: let me go
Nun:No, may Holy Cross and power of God make you stay where you are.


She used the name of Jesus and power of cross or prayer to God to make the sick angel still. Then she asked the other nuns to come and see sick angel ringing the bells and they come and some run back.

Anyhow she told sick angel that he needs to ask God for mercy which sick angel did not do. So she said:
Nun:Say God have mercy.
Sick angel: I can't.
Nun: May the power of Holy Cross burn you.Sick angekl: Please let me go and I will tell to all Hell what happen to me.
Nun:No, say God have mercy.
Sick angel:So seeing that he was burned by power of Holy cross the sick angel said God have mercy and turned like sun and flied into the sky.

So a nun did what other people could not do, to transfomr a sick anegl into an angel of light.
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zekarja
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« Reply #43 on: August 18, 2011, 07:59:27 PM »

89. When a thought lingers within a man, this indicates his attachment to it; but when it is quickly destroyed, this signifies his opposition and hostility to it. - St Mark the Ascetic, On Those who Think that They are Made Righteous by Works
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Heorhij
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« Reply #44 on: August 18, 2011, 10:25:40 PM »

First off, thoughts "ARE." As a college teacher in small-town Mississippi, I am hypersensitized to "I does, he do."

Second off, it depends on the exact definition of sin. In the language of the New Testament, sin is αμαρτία, which literally means "missing the mark." If we view ourselves as ones that are supposed to be "holy, just like I [God] [am] holy," then, of course, any thought that "misses the mark" of absolute perfection is sinful.

But then, were exactly is the mark of this absolute perfection, do we know it?

If I think, "oh, my, this gal is beautiful" - does it mean that I paid my due to the wonderful job God has done creating beautiful females, - or does it mean that I am lusting for her?

If I think, "ah, the actor who played Hamlet in the play I watched yesterday was just super-astonishing" - does it mean that I am, again, paying my rightful due to a person who does his job "wholeheartedly, as if... serving the Lord, not men," expressing, through art, the everlasting truth of faith, hope, and love - or, rather, that I am "loving the world, and everything that is in the world - the cravings of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boasting of what I have and do?"

Christianity does not give one-size-fits-it-all, carved-in-stone answers. Everything you do, say, and think will be, and is already being, evaluated by God Who is the only One who "looks in the heart."
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 10:30:28 PM by Heorhij » Logged

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