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John Cassian...Conferences and Institutes

"Cassian probably did more than anyone else to translate the desert experience for the West. Following his teacher, Evagrius Ponticus, he stressed wordless prayer and the mystical journey of the soul. St. Benedict, in his Rule, would make Cassian’s memoirs required reading in all his monasteries."...William Harmless
Saint John Cassian (ca. 360 – 435) (Latin: Jo(h)annes Eremita Cassianus, Joannus Cassianus, or Joannes Massiliensis), John the Ascetic, or John Cassian the Roman, was a Christian theologian celebrated in both the Western and Eastern Churches for his mystical writings. He is known both as one of the "Scythian monks" and as one of the "Desert Fathers."

John Cassian wrote two major spiritual works, the Institutes and the Conferences. In these, he codified and transmitted the wisdom of the Desert Fathers of Egypt. These books were written at the request of Castor, Bishop of Apt, of the subsequent Pope Leo I, and of several Gallic bishops and monks. The Institutes (Latin: De institutis coenobiorum) deal with the external organization of monastic communities, while the Conferences (Latin: Collationes patrum in scetica eremo) deal with "the training of the inner man and the perfection of the heart." John Cassian (Wikipedia)
Conferences...John Cassian
Also a version here with extensive contents listing
Institutes...John Cassian
Also a version here with extensive contents listing

Read chapter 1 to get the background of Abba Joseph. Picture Cassian listening with his friend Germanus (you will notice that it is Germanus who asks the questions!).

Read chapters 2 and 3 in order to find out the various foundations of friendship.

Read chapters 7, 8, and 9 to see the relationship between love and anger.

Read chapters 13 and 14 to find out more about love.

Skim through chapters 15 through 20 in order to see the many ways that seemingly good people are moved by hidden anger.

Read chapter 27 very carefully in order to absorb Joseph's advice about dealing with anger: When fierce storms of passion sweep over us, enlarge our hearts -- one translation tells us to open a wider harbor. What in the world does this metaphor mean? How can we enlarge our hearts or open a wider harbor? In what ways is this a practical way of dealing with anger?
Source: Dee Russell
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