Cassian takes up the theme of the three sources of one's calling to the monastic life or to conversion (God, the example of others, need) and the three types of renunciation essential for living a life of deep conversion (detachment from worldly goods, one's passions, and from all things that prevent theoria or contemplation.) Discussion ensued about compunction, conversion in one's daily life, and embracing a spirit of renunciation in the modern world.
A wonderful discussion this evening on the concluding paragraphs of the Conference and in particular on the practice of fasting. Attention is given to the implications of Cassian's teaching for Christians living in a secular culture and in the face of the many evils therein. How is it that one pursues a life of holiness in the modern day? How do we engage the culture in a fashion that is not stilted or reactionary?
Continuing discussion of the value of the revelation of one's thoughts to an elder and the responsibility of the elder to treat those entrusted to them with kindness and compassion; example of discretion as the avoiding of extremes, especially in regards to the practice of fasting.
Discretion and the importance of the revelation of one's thoughts; the graces of the humble recognition of one's sins and the safety it brings in the spiritual life; the importance of the spiritual elder and the concurrent dangers of false teachers.