Conferences of St. John Cassian - Conference Twenty On the End of Repentance and on the Mark of Reparation Part II
While trying to help Cassian and Germanus focus on the end of repentance and the marks of reparation which is healing (the removal of the thorn of the conscience and any disposition to sin), Pinufius patiently steps back and tries to hearten and encourage his proteges in the continuing pursuit of these things. He must first help them see the constant means God places at our disposal to know his mercy and forgiveness and the means he provides for healing us of the effects of our sins. Again, with a single stroke of the pen, Cassian removes our tendency to turn the forgiveness of sin and the repairing of its wounds into something mechanical or magical. God is a lover who ceaselessly seeks us out and draws us to himself; offering us at every turn means to know his forgiveness. Never more can we blame God for our lingering attraction to sin and return to it. It is our negligence and lack of resolve, our pride and laziness alone that keeps us from coming to know that fullness and freedom, love and forgiveness. Our lack of hatred for sin and our unwillingness to do whatever is necessary to free ourselves from its grip, reveals a lack of love and gratitude for God's gifts.