Any passion is always stirred up, appears and grows first through thought. The struggle with the passions begins from the struggle with the thoughts. The bad thoughts are temptations brought by demons (for this reason some fathers call the thoughts `spirits`) like whispers which call to sin and in the end at passion. Begin the struggle with the thoughts chasing away immediately the temptation they tempt you with, not listening to the cunning whispers, not paying any attention to them. If you stay and think about them and look at them, they increase and get strengthened. But if you chase away from the first moment the bad thought, you get rid of it and of sin.
Through thoughts showing things which allure and enchant us, the demons tempt us to look at them and afterwards to speak to them. If you speak to them you didn`t sin yet and you didn`t reach at passion but you are on a way from where it is very difficult to return; because you accepted the bad thought, you got stuck to it and your heart likes it. Surely after it there comes the consent and the deed which turn the thought into sinful word and deed.If you go on like this your heart becomes enslaved by passions as the passion is the habitude of the heart with evil.
So don`t go on that way. Only the saints have the power to defeat the demons by word.
You leave the thought immediately. The temptation is a smoldering fire and if you don`t extinguish it , it turns into a big fire; and poisonous snake which is ready to bite and must be crushed. As you jump up to defend your life, jump up for the soul. Make a law from it.
Excerpt from Keep the vigil light of the heart burning– Jean-Claude Larche, Sophia Publishing, Bucharest, 2007 via http://manastireacurchi.md