Do not befoul your intellect by clinging to thoughts filled with anger and sensual desire. Otherwise you will lose your capacity for pure prayer and fall victim to the demon of listlessness….
When the intellect associates with evil and sordid thoughts it loses its intimate communion with God….
Do not listen gleefully to gossip at your neighbor’s expense or chatter to a person who likes finding fault. Otherwise you will fall away from divine love and find yourself cut off from eternal life….
‘But I say to you,’ says the Lord, ‘love your enemies…do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you’ (Matthew 5:44). Why did He command this? To free you from hatred, irritation, anger and rancor, and to make you worthy of the supreme gift of perfect love. And you cannot attain such love if you do not imitate God and love all men equally. For God loves all men equally and wishes them ‘to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth’ (1 Timothy 2:4).
~St Maximos the Confessor