20. „I tell you, my dear brothers: Blessed and truly happy is he who suffers temptation; for only after he has proved himself will he reach the true goal of life, which the holy, most loving Father promised us all if we truly love Him with our whole heart.
21. "Do not maintain that the Father had now tempted us; for the good Father certainly tempts no one in this manner, and He need not tempt anyone. But he still saw in you a sinister urge, and so He allowed it to emerge from you and you had to behold it and find out whether you still were inclined towards it.
22. "However, you still showed such an inclination; so realize that whoever has shown an inclination towards falsehood has received the false with his inclination, and this is a seed of sin. When then the sin has matured and is born, it soon gives birth to death, which is in it.
23. "So do not be mistaken, dear brothers; for every good gift and all true, perfect bounty flow only from the Father of all light and all life. In Him there is neither change nor variation forever; as He is, so He was from eternity. (HHG vol. 2, chap. 275)
 After a while, when Simon recovered from his captivation and I reassuringly influenced his heart, Simon said: “My Lord and My God! What did I do, that You suddenly are so lenient and merciful towards me? See, I’m a sinful person; since my flesh is quite loose. The beautiful and attractive maiden leave a mighty impression on me and from time to time quite indecent thoughts are forcing themselves upon me. And quite often I willingly engage with a kind of lust and joy in these thoughts, although not in deed because of a lack of opportunity, but still in my heart, which behaves quite affirmative during such estrous stages.
 But then also quite bright moments appear in me and I have reasonable views and considerations about this point; but to what use? If I again see a beautiful maiden, all the brighter moments, all the reasonable views and considerations are gone in an instant, and the old scapegoat, armed with all its indecent intentions, is back in its place. Of course, I do nothing; but this doing-nothing is nevertheless not a true doing-nothing, but simply a doing which is prevented by a bad opportunity. The fear for temporary punishment and disgrace is preventing one thereof, but not so the own free will, who at such opportunities contains a lot of desire, and at a good opportunity surely will not reveal any negation! I know my loose flesh unfortunately just too well and therefore are a sinful person and not worthy of such a great mercy from You.”
75. ABOUT LIFE IN A MONASTERY AND HERMITS.
THE PURPOSE OF TEMPTATIONS.
 THE Pharisees: “Lord and Master. We have heard now from Your divine mouth of the difficulties in obtaining the inner life perfection, but also of the endless advantages of it. The difficulties did not discourage us to do whatever You may prescribe us to do. Even if we physically have to mutilate ourselves under the greatest pain, then in full earnest we are prepared for it.”
 I said: “Oh that would be the greatest foolishness, because whoever wants truly to conquer an enemy must line up himself in the open field in front of him, and should not hide behind all
kinds of defensive works. Because when the enemy will see the entrenchment, he will indeed desist for a certain time from an open attack because he realizes that with his power he is not a match for the well-defended opponent. But he surrounds the well-defended opponent, and then he will call for fortifications from all sides. After that, when the enemy feels strong enough, he attacks the still well-defended opponent and overpowers him without difficulty.
 I consider the case when the enemy was not able to do anything against the well-defended opponent as long as he stayed behind his entrenchment. But the opponent can out of fear for the stronger enemy not stay forever behind his strong entrenchment. He will have to leave it once and will have to come in the open field. How will he then fare when the enemy, who secretly is lying in wait somewhere, will attack him? I tell you: this second open battle will then be much more difficult for him than if he had attacked the enemy immediately in the open the first time.
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