“If we look at this from the viewpoint of one still at an early stage of spiritual formation, it is a major step forward just to sincerely desire, not to not sin, but to have different feelings—feelings that lead away from sin. At that early stage, one has to strongly want to not want what one now wants, and to want to want what one does not now want. One has to feel strong revulsion toward the wrong feeling one now has or is likely to have and at the same time have a strong attraction to the good feelings that one does not now feel. This proves to be absolutely necessary in order to “put off the old person” (involving the wrong feeling) and “put on the new person” (involving the good feeling). So, for example, one does not merely want to not assault others verbally, or to not fall into fornication, but he or she really wants to not have the feelings that lead to it and takes steps to avoid those feelings.
If a strong and compelling vision of myself as one who is simply free from intensive vanity or desire for wealth or for sexual indulgence can possess me, then I am in a position to desire not to have the desires I now have. And then means can be effectively sought to the end.”