In his volume, The Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis writes this take on the Apostle Paul’s admonition to “take every thought captive” (2 Cor 10:5). Thomas encourages us to be vigilant and to employ swift countermeasures at the first hint of temptation’s attempt to infiltrate our minds.

We will do better in dealing with temptation if we keep an eye on them from the very beginning. Temptations are more easily overcome if they are never allowed to enter our minds. Meet them at the door as soon as they knock, and do not let them in. One simple thought can enter the mind and start the process.