Distractions at Prayer

When the demons see you yearning to pray truly, then they propose representations of certain things that are supposedly necessary and shortly thereafter they raise up and implant the memory of them, setting the mind in motion to search for them. When the mind does not find them, it is deeply grieved and discouraged. Then when it stands at prayer they remind it of the things sought and remembered, so that the mind, having become vain with the knowledge of them, will lose its fruitful prayer.” Evagrius, On Prayer, 10. Translation in: Evagrius Ponticus by Augustine Cassiday

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