St. John Cassian

St. John Cassian is one of my favorite monastic and Patristic writers.  I find his thought more accessible to me than many other monastic writers.  His teachings often seem to me incredibly relevant to our spiritual sojourns today.   His name’s day comes on February 29, so we remember him on the correct day only once every four years.  As such, I remember him today in this blog.

Cassian JohnI will, with a little tongue in cheek, offer a quote from St. John, which may explain a lot to me about my life.

“… the grace of the Lord inspires a speaker in direct proportion to the merit and the eagerness of those who are listening to him.”

In other words, it is not my fault if those listening to my sermons or reading my blog aren’t inspired or edified.  :)     This comes, of course, as a big relief to me.  What I need are more worthy and eager listeners.   :)   [On the other hand, when the listener to my sermon or reader of my blog gets the message, that is also due to them not to me!]

Enough joy from St. John Cassian.

Another quote from him to consider:

“The journey to God follows many routes.  So let each person take to the end and with no turning back the way he first chose so that he may be perfect…”

It is the end of the journey that matters, not its length nor its arduousness.  The wise thief, for example, attained it in a single moment.  Others spend years and decades traversing toward and away from God  until finally arriving eternally in God’s presence.  Moses wandered the wilderness for 40 years.  Good intentions are also no measure of anything, it is results that matter.  Whatever we intended, if we don’t find our way to God, we will have failed in life.

We should as St. John says, “take to the end.” That is what we hope for ourselves and pray for ourselves.  It is what we hope for others, and pray for others.  We don’t need to be critical of the path others take.  That is their walk with God.  Our task is to make sure we take to the end and remain with God while praying for all others and being a light to them if we are able.

2 thoughts on “St. John Cassian

  1. St. John Cassian’s writings on the struggles of monastic life and of life in general also show a considerable understanding and sympathy for the psychology of the trials we face on our paths. There is no new thing under the sun. It is not merely modern psychology that grapples with depression or despair. Wise men such as today’s saint have shown no small insight since very long ago. His work is well worth reading for this too among many reasons.

    Glad to see this. A good post, as always, Father.

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