It is not on MN 148 that I will focus, but on the following sutta; for it adresses right effort that comes before sati in the noble eightfold path.
There are two ways to translate MN 141.
Katamo cāvuso sammāvāyāmo?
Now what, venerable friends, is right effort (endeavour)?
Idhāvuso bhikkhu anuppannānaṁ pāpakānaṁ akusalānaṁ dhammānaṁ anuppādāya chandaṁ janeti, vāyamati viriyaṁ ārabhati cittaṁ paggaṇhāti padahati.
A monk generates desire not to take up bad and unwholesome things that have not yet arisen, (in this regard) he endeavours, instigates energy, exerts his mind, and makes an effort.
A monk rouses his will, makes an effort, stirs up energy, exerts his mind and strives to prevent the arising of unarisen evil unwholesome mental states.
IN THE SAME VEIN:
There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, arouses persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
Here a bhikkhu awakens zeal for the non-arising of unarisen evil unwholesome states, and he makes effort, arouses energy, exerts his mind, and strives.
In the latter cases, effort yields prevention.
In the former case, desire yields effort.
I believe your reading to be the reading of the former case.
So it sounds like you see effort in the process; not just "gentleness".
This is a bit confusing.
Desire yields effort.
But effort for what?
For the next step; that is sati? - In other words, effort to "accept things as they are"? That is strange logic to me.
SN 16.2 (as in the previous post to L.N.) has no parallel. This might explain this kind of confusion.
I believe the progression to be effort (act) > intention of non arising of kilesas (act) > mindfulness (act & non-act) > effort (act) > intention of non arising... > ...
In which mindfulness has an active part in "calming" the four foundations (body, feeling, mind, and dhamma); so as to reach the abandoning of the hindrances (or kilesas).
MN 125 (with parallel) explain well the progression. Letting go of thoughts (a.k.a. pure contemplation,) comes after the abandoning of the hindrances (kilesas).
Overcoming the mental hindrances > The 4 focuses of mindfulness (Having given up these 5 mental hindrances, mental impurities that weaken wisdom, he dwells exertive, clearly comprehending, mindful,observing [watching] the body in the body, etc.) > Letting go of the world > Letting go of thoughts.
The latter being pure contemplation.
Note that even having gotten rid of the hindrances, the meditator remains "exertive" in mindfulness.
Oh, by the way, I am not here to commpare Theravada with other schools. I'd rather look at what is common to all these schools.
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
We are all possessed - more or less.
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”