Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent p.116

Just read this amazing passage from John Cassian (5th century) in Schmemann’s book:

“We must not avoid communion
because we deem ourselves to be sinful.
We must approach it more often
for the healing of the soul
and the purification of the spirit,
but with such humility and faith
that considering ourselves unworthy…
we would desire even more the medicine for our wounds.
Otherwise it is impossible
to receive communion once a year,
as certain people do…
considering the sanctification of heavenly Mysteries
as available only to saints.
It is better to think that by giving us grace,
the sacrament makes us pure and holy.
Such people manifest more pride than humility…
for when they receive,
they think themselves as worthy.
It is much better if,
in humility of heart,
knowing that we are never worthy
of the Holy mysteries,
we would receive them every Sunday
for the healing of our diseases,
rather than,
blinded by pride,
think that after one year
we become worthy of receiving them…”

John Cassian, 3rd conference on sinlessness


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