Sf-IoanCasianTrue patience and tranquillity is neither gained nor retained without profound humility of heart.

And if it has sprung from this source, there will be no need either of the good offices of the cell or of the refuge of the desert.

For it will seek no external support from anything, if it has the internal support of the virtue of humility, its mother and its guardian.

But if we are disturbed when attacked by anyone it is clear that the foundations of humility have not been securely laid in us.

Therefore at the outbreak even of a small storm, our whole edifice is shaken and ruinously disturbed.

For patience would not be worthy of praise and admiration if it only preserved its purposed tranquillity when attacked by no darts of enemies, but it is grand and glorious because when the storms of temptation beat upon it, it remains unmoved.

[…] Everybody knows that patience gets its name from the passions and endurance, and so it is clear that no one can be called patient but one who bears without annoyance all the indignities offered to him.

[…] When then anyone is overcome by a wrong, and blazes up in a fire of anger, we should not hold that the bitterness of the insult offered to him is the cause of his sin.

Rather, it is the manifestation of secret weakness, in accordance with the parable of our Lord and Saviour which He spoke about the two houses (Matt. 7:24, 59).

One of these was founded upon a rock, and the other upon the sand, on both of which He says that the tempest of rain and waters and storm beat equally.

But that one which was founded on the solid rock felt no harm at all from the violence of the shock, while that which was built on the shifting and moving sand at once collapsed.

And it certainly appears that it fell, not because it was struck by the rush of the storms and torrents, but because it was imprudently built upon the sand.

For a saint does not differ from a sinner in this, that he is not himself tempted in the same way, but because he is not worsted even by a great assault, while the other is overcome even by a slight temptation.

[…] For “Blessed is the man that endures temptation, for when he has been proved he shall receive the crown of life which God hath promised to them that love Him” (James 1:12).

John Cassian (c. 360-435): Conferences 18,13.

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