The group continued its discussion of the sixth conference following the elder’s teaching on the necessity of trials in the spiritual life as a means of purification from sin. One must seek to trust in the wisdom of God as he finds himself afflicted for the sake of correction or to burn away the dross. At times one will undergo trials for the sake of the glory of God, to manifest the power of his grace through his endurance. In the most challenging section of the conference, the elder tells Cassian and Germanus that there are those so hardened in their sin that they are beyond the remedy of chastisement and who must be abandoned to the darkness of the sin and the full consequence of the loss of communion with God. Having failed to respond to God’s remedy, they must be abandoned to the desolation of their choosing with the hope that its emptiness will stir them at last to conversion or simply be a warning to others.
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