“When you intend doing a God-pleasing deed and a contrary thought opposes it, this lets you know that the intended act is truly pleasing to God. Pray and observe, whether during prayer your heart corroborates the goodness and this goodness grows and does not lessen, and accordingly, whether the opposing thought increases or not. Know that every good deed definitely has bitter opposition from the devil’s jealousy, while a good deed through prayer gains ascendancy over it. .”
(Sts Barsanuphius & John in Collected quotes from Bishop Alexander)