At any rate, when I read the following passage from Diadochus of Photica on Universalis this morning I remembered my conversation.
Those who are struggling in battle ought always to keep their souls free of the tumultuous waves of distraction. If they do this, the mind will be able to distinguish among the thoughts that come to it. The good thoughts, sent by God, they can store in the treasure-house of their memory. The evil thoughts, sent by the devil, they can throw out.
Clearing and purifying the mind is the task of the Holy Spirit alone – just as when a house is being burgled, the spoils can only be recovered if a strong man bursts in and despoils the burglar. Therefore we ought to keep our souls at peace so that the Holy Spirit is welcome there, so that the lamp of knowledge will always be lit – for when it is, the dark and bitter impulses of the devil will be easy to see and they will be reduced to creeping helplessness as they are caught in that holy and glorious light.
This is why St Paul says ‘Do not extinguish the Spirit’ – that is, do not sadden the Holy Spirit with evil acts and thoughts, or his light may cease to protect you. Of course the eternal and life-giving Spirit is not actually extinguished: rather, it is the sad turning away of the Spirit that leaves the mind wrapped in gloom and without the light of knowledge.
~Diadochus of Photica, "On Spiritual Perfection"
Let us use the twin gifts of prayer and spiritual reading (Lecto Divina) to refresh our minds and keep them attuned to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Here is an essay on Lecto Divina and Haiku. It talks about slowing down and letting a passage of Scripture speak to your heart. I think this is important in letting the light of the Holy Spirit into our sometimes dark and frightening lives.