Many people when they are first converted are fervent in prayer, but afterwards pray languidly, coldly, and then without paying attention; this because they feel secure. The enemy keeps watch and you are asleep.
Just think for a moment, brethren, how easily you say of a certain man, 'He is an evil-doer, a scoundrel'. Look into your own heart in case you see wickedness there. Are you not prepared to do yourself what you condemn in another?
Return to your heart, there you will be alone with him who sees all things. Hate sin, so that you may please God. Don't cherish it, don't think it over, rather despise it and turn away from it.
Temptation will suggest that sin can make you happy, it will threaten sorrow to tempt you to evil; but all this is emptiness, and will pass away. Wicked suggestions can come by thoughts or by evil conversations, and right living is easily corrupted. Wherever they came from, throw them out of your heart, don't pay attention to them, don't cherish them.
But don't add up your merits: we don't come to Christ from righteousness, we have all sinned, and it is by his inspiration that we accomplish the good he has given us. We must remember what he commanded in his Gospel, 'Pray without ceasing', and if you do not give up prayer you may be sure he will not forget his mercy.
DAILY READING WITH
St Augustine --- The Heart at Rest