As we sat at the feet of Abba Chaeremon with Cassian and Germanus, we continued this most important conference on Chastity. We began by considering the presence or absence of the other passions, especially anger, as a barometer of the depth of a person's chastity. The Lord must destroy all inner wars between the flesh and the spirit and no one will enjoy this virtue enduringly in whose flesh there still rages these battles. When the Lord has freed the person from every seething emotion and impulse, he shall attain to the state of purity. However, there can be no peace while the struggle continues. We must not boast, then, at some small measure or period of chastity. In fact, until a person arrives at the state of perfect purity he has to be trained frequently by enduring patiently inner discrepancies and until he acknowledges fully the truth that God alone can lift a person out of the pit of wretchedness.
Conferences of St. John Cassian - Conference Eleven on Perfection Part II and Conference Twelve Intro.
Cassian and Germanus came to the end of their conference with Abba Chaeremon on Perfection discussing the various ranks of perfection that depend on an individual's virtue, will and ardor. We are challenged by God to go from the heights to sill higher places, driven by love. The greatest perfection is to share in the sonship of Christ; to be motivated by love in all things. The only fear we are to have is the fear that is a part of the nature and disposition of love itself - a fear of not doing the will of God or of losing a life a virtue through negligence. We must be preoccupied with a concerned devotion not only in every action but also in every word, lest our ardor become to the slightest extent lukewarm.
On Exile:detachment from relations and absolute value of commitment to Christ; the necessity of humility and avoiding corrupting influence of demons and those of bad character; Dreams and the dangers of deception through literal interpretation.
On Obedience: renunciation of self-will and self-direction