The Desert Fathers are always especially good to read for a soul.
Since manliness is in restraining and governing the passions, rather than as the world teaches, giving into them – which is effeminacy and softness and slavery – since manliness is having authority over oneself, the desert fathers are a perfect choice for study to teach interior reign over one’s soul… The monks and hermits who gave up everything and spent their whole lives battling the world, the flesh, and the devils in the barren wilderness…
Now there are some men full of holiness, worth imitating…
'A brother should guard his heart and senses with every precaution, because while we live in this life we are in a great war and the Enemy rages above all against those struggle, running hither and thither, as Holy Scripture says, “seeking whom he may devour” (1 St. Peter 5:8). He must, then, offer stalwart resistance to this foe, calling on God as his ally.
As for him who has made compromises with his passions, how will he war against them, since he has sold himself as a slave to pleasures and with all eagerness pays taxes to the tyrant? Where there is enmity, there is also war; and where there is war, there a struggle is waged; and where there is a struggle, crowns are offered.
If then, anyone wishes to be freed from bitter slavery, let him undertake a war against the Enemy, this is what the Saints did, and after vanquishing the Enemy, they were deemed worthy of heavenly good things.
But perhaps someone will ask: “If where there is enmity against the passions it is natural for war to occur there, as you say, how are we to look upon lovers of pleasure, who, fiercely beset by disgraceful passions, are yet unable to change?” I would respond to this: “I do not believe, my beloved, that theirs is a struggle in accordance with virtue and a spirit of resistance against the Tyrant. It is more likely that they have surrendered to the passion of voluptuousness, to which they are enslaved, and which besets them.”’