Quotes from the Saints
On Prayer and Watchfulness
There was a holy man who cast out demons - the demons feared him. One of his disciples asked him, "Geronda, why are the demons afraid of you?" "My child, I will tell you," said the Elder. "I had a mental war with carnal thoughts, but I never allowed myself to yield to them. I had always arranged the battle so that the war front was at the stage of assalt, and I never allowed the devil to advance further than that stage of assalt. And since I had a continouous warfare, God gave me this blessing, this grace that, in spite of my unworthiness, the demons fear me and are cast out."
Just think - he cut off temptations outside the door, as soon as they knocked; he did not open at all. Why didn't he open? What did he have within himself that hindered them? He had holy recollections which occupied his mind. Temptations knocked from the outside, trying to enter, but there was no place for them; they were given no room to put their own thoughts inside - he had stopped them with the remembrance of God. Through this continual victory this holy man received the grace to be feared by the demons and to cast them out of people. It is a great boast for someone to succeed, by the grace of God, in keeping the devil at the stage of assalt.
There is no mortal, so spiritual man, no struggler who is not subject to the assaults of the enemy, that is, every human being should expect to be tempted. If people leave their doors and windows open - as people in the world usually do, who do not have knowledge of God - then the enemy advances and conquers them. Spiritual people struggle not to open to the enemy a door, a window, or even a hole.
Elder Ephraim from the Holy Mountain