"The Holy Fathers from their own experience have studied minutely the subtleties of our nature and they console us, offering detailed writings on ways to combat sin."
Again , Father John tells his spiritual child to trust in the Holy Fathers of the Church.
In essence, he relates, these Fathers are masters of the human condition in its deep and unsearchable intricacies and hidden caverns of being. Living the Gospel, they relate the difficulties, the hidden springs of the mind-currents running which were previously undetected until the person, in this case the Fathers writing, made the full effort to live Christ, to keep His word that they may receive His promise in The Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 23:
"If anyone loves me, he will keep my word; and My Father
will love him, and We will come to him and make our home with him."
And again in the Gospel of John in chapter 15, beginning in verse 7:
7 "If you abide in me, and My words abide in you, you
will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
8 "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much
fruit; so you will be My disciples.
9 "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide
in My love.
10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My
love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His
11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may
remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another
as I have loved you."
These things our Lord wrote, on the surface appear easy. In fact, they turn out to be simple, not easy. The same way that a drunkard's problems would begin to diminish if only he would put down the drink, to begin to remove the cloud between him and his problems. A simple solution, but one, if attempted by one addicted to the drink, will nonetheless prove difficult to enact and find the means to enact.
The sinner, similarly, knowingly and unknowingly, in word and in deed, has become addicted to sin. It has become normative, wed into the fibre of his very being.
Sin by its very nature "misses the mark", the mark itself our Lord, to be in Him and Him in us. And if we are not to be in Him, we are not to be in our neighbor as our Lord in His Holy Baptism, His Death, His Resurrection, entered into the creation uniting Himself to each and every one of us, "saving" us. Sin separates us from Him, our neighbor, ourselves. Taken captive by the Devil through sin, in the end, we are alone.
So the Master commands that we have love for one another: active(non-passive) fervent(non sentimental) love. Love pursues when other than love leaves behind, leaves by the wayside him who may have been loved, but was chosen to not be worth the struggle to love.
Of course the Holy Fathers have much more to say on many more matters than the one I chose to relate, but again, I would urge us to not treat the Fathers in an academic way, the "Way of the Head Alone", but would recognize their brilliance and exactness in the human condition and how to overcome the great pull of this world to leave us earthy, Adamic, specifically of the Old Adam not the New Adam.