This book happens to be quite popular in Orthodox circles these days. While I wouldn't say it should be nominated for any writing awards, the anecdotes contained within are treasures. These gems are perfect reading for the days of Lent (or any other time, for that matter).
An excerpt, which has been relevant to me lately:
I became so excited I could hardly contain myself. I continued putting dishes away, but when I saw Sr. Sarah and Sr. Thekla, I started explaining how I had heard of the elder before, how he had cured a woman from cancer, and the other things I had heard about.
"Make the sign of the cross, Constantina," Sr. Thekla calmly suggested.
"Why?" I asked in bewilderment.
"Because you are very excited and the devil sees everything," she said simply.
I made the sign of the cross and struggled to better contain my enthusiasm. I had heard this before--not expressing your emotions too outwardly so as not to give the evil one more ground than he needs in tempting you. But I must say, this did strike me as odd at first.
However, it is more spiritually prudent to be measured when expressing any outward signs of emotion. This way the evil one has less ammunition, since he can only judge our thoughts and feelings based on what we externally reveal to him. He can neither see the future nor read our thoughts...And so temperance in displaying sadness, anger, frustration, hurt, and even enthusiasm guards us against the evil one's wiles and temptations.
Right now I am needing some temperance in my display of frustration, exhaustion, and impatience. What a great reason to reexamine my thoughts, and nip temptation in the bud! And a bonus? My children will benefit also.