Wednesday Jul 29, 2015
Conferences of St. John Cassian - Conference Fourteen On Spiritual Knowledge Part III
Once worldly cares have been stilled and virtue acquired, Abba Nesteros tells Cassian and Germanus that an assiduous program of reading the Bible must be undertaken. Reading though brings with it the danger of pride and consequently Abba Nesteros tells them that humble discretion must be exercised. He suggest the memorization of Scripture - in fact, perhaps, surprising to modern ears, the memorization of the entire Bible. Scripture is put forward here as the subject of continual mediation.
Spiritual matters are not to be spoken of lightly; nor without experience behind them. Our one desire should be to seek to be the spouse of Christ and to allow our hearts to be shaped fully by His Word. Holiness leads to the deepest knowledge and we must avoid relying simply on human wisdom and rhetorical skill. Likewise we must set aside all daydreaming about worldly literature and the exercise of the intellect, reason and imagination and make Christ our lasting treasure; understanding that in Him we lack absolutely nothing.
Finally, when speaking of the mysteries of God, our words should be directed especially to those who know the bitterness of life, whose hearts have been crushed by the weight of their own sin - those who know their poverty and so can truly be nourished and healed by the Word.
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