A monk at Bethlehem and in Egypt, John Cassian later settled in Marseilles where he founded two monasteries, one for men and one for women. His writings, teaching about monastic life, were enormously influential.. Benedict of Nursia (see July 11th) drew on his teaching for his Rule for monastic life. Two of Cassian’s wise sayings were:

‘Observe, admire and obey may be given as the novice’s watchwords. The ideal must not remain as ideal, but has to be realised at whatever the cost. The cost is heroism.’ 

‘True discretion is impossible without true humility. Self-deception is unlikely when a person is humble enough to submit to the judgement of another.’ 

Cassian also strongly refuted the erroneous teachings of Augustine.

Help us, Lord, so to follow our Lord Jesus Christ as His novices that we may reach out sacrificially to the goal He is calling us to. Grant us humility and the readiness to be accountable to others in Your family. Amen.