The most controversial conference of Cassian's work turns out to be the most beautiful and awe-inspiring. We picked up tonight with section IX of Conference 13 where Cassian's approach to and understanding of the interplay of Grace and Free Will comes into clear view. Both must be affirmed in our understanding of and living out of the Christian life. Cassian is writing not to express theological clarity (as we often understand it) but rather to encourage us and help us understand that we must be willing to live in the tension or, perhaps expressed better, be willing to participate in the dance of love - the movement of God's desire for us and our desire for him. Cassian's approach, then, is experiential and relational and it is here that he shows himself to be "Theologian" in the truest sense of the word. God is seeking us in love at every moment and every circumstance, wooing us and drawing us toward Him; lingering and waiting for the movement of our will towards Him. Without that capacity no love is possible. But to insist on the place of free human will in no way diminishes divine grace. The grace of God, too, remains free, since with inestimable generosity it confers on meager and small efforts such immortal glory and such gifts of everlasting blessedness.
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