Friday, July 23, 2010

St. John Cassian (c. 360-433)

Speaking of the early Egyptian Fathers of the desert whom he and his friend, Germanus, interviewed regarding the monastic life, Cassian says: "...Thanks to them, they who have established themselves in the vastest solitude and are separated from the companionship of all mortal beings, thereby possessing spiritual enlightenment, contemplate and proclaim things that will perhaps seem impossible to those who are unpracticed and ignorant by reason of their condition and their mediocre behavior. In this regard, however, if anyone wishes to give a true opinion and desires to see whether these things can be fulfilled, let him first hasten to seize upon their chosen orientation with similar zeal and by a similar way of life. Only then he realize that what seemed beyond human capacity is not only possible but even most sweet..." (Introduction to The Conferences)

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