Saturday, May 10, 2014

Saint John Cassian on Repentance

“The only form of dejection we should cultivate is the sorrow which goes with repentance for sin and is accompanied by hope in God. It was of this form of dejection that the Apostle said: ‘Godly sorrow produces as saving repentance which is not to be repented of (2 Cor.7:10). This godly sorrow’ nourishes the soul through the hope engendered by repentance, and it is mingled with joy. 

It is very clear that disturbing urges are not always aroused in us by other people’s faults. Rather, we are to blame – we who have stored up within ourselves the causes of our offences and the seeds of our vices that, when the rain shower of temptation drenches our mind, at once break forth into buds and fruits.
For a person who is irritated by someone else’s vices is never compelled to sin if he does not have the stuff of wrongdoing stored away in his heart. Neither should anyone be believed to have been deceived all at once when, upon having seen a woman, he has fallen into an abyss of wicked desire; rather, at the sight there rose to the surface diseases that had been hidden and concealed deep within”[1].  

[1] Bulletin of Spiritual Edification, Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, 22 September 2013, p.4

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