Thought of the day
Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saturday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time

"pray always without becoming weary"

Saint John Cassian (around 360-435), founder of monasteries 
Conferences, no.9, 1&3 ; SC 34 (trans. ©Boniface Ramsey OP, 1997)
"The necessity... to pray always without becoming weary"

The end of every monk and the perfection of his heart direct him to constant and uninterrupted perseverance in prayer. As much as human frailty allows, it strives after an unchanging and continual tranquillity of mind and perpetual purity. On its account we tirelessly pursue and ceaselessly apply ourselves to every bodily labor as well as to contrition of spirit…

Therefore, so that prayer may be made with the fervor and purity that it deserves, the following things should be observed in every respect. First, anxiety about fleshly matters should be completely cut off. Then, not only the concern for, but in fact even the memory of affairs and business should be refused all entry whatsoever; detraction, idle speech, talkativeness, and buffoonery should also be done away with; the disturbance of anger, in particular, and of sadness should be entirely torn out; and the harmful shoot of fleshly lust and of avarice should be uprooted… And thus, when… there has taken place a cleansing purgation such as we have spoken of, which is perfected in the purity of simplicity and innocence, the unshakable foundations of deep humility should be laid, which can support a tower that will penetrate the heavens. Then the spiritual structure of the virtues must be raised above it, and the mind must be restrained from all dangerous wandering and straying, so that thus it might gradually begin to be elevated to the contemplation of God and to spiritual vision.
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