Thursday May 14, 2015
Conferences of St. John Cassian - Conference Twelve on Chastity Part III
Cassian and Germanus continue their discussion with Chaeremon on Chastity. The old man tells them that if a person does not believe such purity is possible then he must first enter into the disciplines and the struggle to make it his own. It is only through experience that one can come to see and taste the beauty of this virtue. Furthermore, he tells them that chastity subsist no thanks to a rigorous defense but rather by love of the virtue and by delight in purity. Asceticism, in other words, may lead to abstinence but not to Chastity which is the fruit of God's grace. Perfect Chastity is distinguished by its perpetual tranquillity. For this is the consummation of true chastity, which does not fight the movements of carnal lust but detests them with utter abhorrence, maintaining a constant and inviolable purity for itself. This can be nothing else than holiness. Nature itself begins to be transformed and controlled by the grace that lies within the heart and conforms to the will of the mind.
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