Philokalia Ministries

Conferences of St. John Cassian - Conference Sixteen on Friendship Part III Conclusion

September 3, 2015

Cassian and Germanus conclude there discussion with Abba Joseph by discussing the various kinds of feigned patience that mask the anger and bitterness that we can hold in our hearts towards others.  Our words may be smoother than oil but become darts meant to wound.  One can relish gaining the position of emotional advantage over the other while maintaining the perception of virtue; fasting or embracing greater silence in a diabolical fashion that only increases pride rather than fostering humility.  

Again, Abba Joseph reminds us that our desire should be not only to avoid anger ourselves but to sooth and calm the annoyance that arises in another's heart. We cannot be satisfied with our own sanctity; as if that could exist at the expense of others.  We must enlarge our hearts so as to be able to receive the wrath of others and transform it through love and humility.  By humble acts of reparation we should seek to diminish anger at every turn rather than inflame it.

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