"An old man said: For nine years a brother was tempted in thought to the point of despairing of his salvation and, being scrupulous, he condemned himself, saying, "I have lost my soul and, since I am lost, I shall go back to the world." But while he was on the way, a voice came to him on the road, which said, "These nine years during which you have been tempted have been crowns for you; go back to your place, and I will allay these thoughts." Understand that it is not good for someone to despair of himself because of his temptations; rather temptations procure crowns for us if we use them well."
Anonymous [026]