Thursday Aug 25, 2016
Conferences of St. John Cassian - Conference Twenty-four On Mortification Part II
Abba Abraham continues to engage Germanus and Cassian about their desire to return home to be near their relatives. He warns them that the promise of being taken care of by others will draw them away from the particular hardship and asceticism necessary to live the life of true solitude and to remain focused upon God alone. Freedom to study and pray unimpeded is not the extent of the solitary life. It is also not to be drawn into the affairs of others, good or bad, but rather to remain within one's cell and to limit one's thoughts to God. Acedia, or a kind of listlessness will draw them out from the solitude especially when the environment and the freedom to engage others are there as a temptation. The Egyptian monks have already built up a strong constitution in avoiding this vice and the pathless environment of the desert makes it unattractive to relatives and the curious alike. One must learn to trust solely in the providence of God to provide for their needs and to satisfy the desires of their hearts. Having chosen the solitary life the must see themselves as dead to the world and to all but God.
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