The Joy of the Evil Spirits Is That We Conceal Our Thoughts

Sts. Barsanuphious and John the Prophet. "Guidance Toward Spiritual Life".

A certain brother is appointed the abbot. He asks the Elder how to manage the monastery.

Letter 577

When he heard this, he glorified God and said to the Old Man: "Father, since I am a beginner and know nothing, what do you command me to say to the brothers?"

Response.

Tell them the following: "The Lord Jesus Christ, who cares for you, said: 'I shall not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you'. Pay attention to yourselves with all humility and love toward God, and he shall bless you and become your protection and direction."

Also tell them the following: "Let no one conceal any thought, because the joy of the [evil] spirits is that we conceal our thoughts in order that they might destroy our soul".

If any of the brothers reveals his thoughts to you, say the following within yourself: "Lord, everything that you have for the salvation of the soul, grant it to me in order that I may speak to the brother, and in order that I may speak your word rather than my own." Then say whatever comes to you, believing within yourself that this is not your own word; for it is written: "Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God."