From St. Seraphim of Sarov (Little Russian Philokalia Vol. 1; St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood pg. 94) to me:
"... the people who, in spite of the bonds of sin which fetter them and hinder them (by constraint and by inciting them to new sins), come to Him, our Savior, with perfect repentance for tormenting Him, who despise all the strength of the fetters of sin and force themselves to break their bonds ? such people at last actually appear before the face of God made whiter than snow by His grace. 'Come, says the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them whiter than snow' (Isa. 1:18)."
From St. Symeon the New Theologian (The Discourses; Paulist Press pg. 97):
"Let us repent with all our heart and cast away not only our evil deeds, but also the wicked and unclean thoughts of our hearts and obliterate them in accordance with that which is written: 'Rend your hearts and not your garments' (Joel 2:13). Tell me: What use is it if we distribute our goods to the poor, but fail to make a break with evil and to hate sin? What use is it if, while we do not actively commit bodily sin, we mentally engage in shameful and unclean thoughts and invisibly commit sin and are governed and controlled by restrained passions of soul? I beseech you, let us cast away, together with our wealth, the habit of servitude to the evils we have mentioned. Nor let us stop at this, but let us eagerly wash away their defilement with tears of penitence."