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Selected Sayings of St. Macarius the Great

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  • arbible
    Selected Sayings of St. Macarius the Great Regarding emotional sublimation, St. Macarius said, If you accept humiliation as if it were dignifying, blame as
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 13, 2005
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      Selected Sayings of St. Macarius the Great

      Regarding emotional sublimation, St. Macarius said, "If you accept humiliation as if it were dignifying, blame as praiseworthy, poverty as richness, you will not die."

      A certain man said to him.  "My good father, say a word of life to me."  St. Macarius answered, "Go to the cemetery and smell the carrion of death... You must die in order to live and should not care for what others say whether they blame or praise you.  The dead person has nothing to do with dignity or humiliation.  In this sense you may live."

      When Abbot Macarius was returning from the marsh to his cell one day carrying some palm leaves, he met the devil on the road with a scythe.  The latter struck at him as much as he pleased, but in vain, and he said to him, "what is your power, Macarius, that makes me powerless against you? All that you do, I do, too; you fast, so do I; you keep vigil, and I do not sleep at all; in one thing only do you beat me. " Abbot Macarius asked what was that. He said, "Your humility.  Because of that I can do nothing against you; you are distinguished from us only by humility; by that you get the better of us."

      "Any virtue is connected with another in a  series of special links.  Prayer is related to love; love is connected with joy; joy with docility; docility with humility; humility with service; service with hope; hope with faith; faith with obedience; and obedience with simplicity.

      "Also, vices are co-related.  Hatred is related to anger; anger to arrogance; arrogance to false dignity; false dignity to lack of faith; lack of faith to hard-heartedness; hard-heartedness to carelessness; carelessness to sloth; sloth to wretchedness; wretchedness to impatience; impatience to sensual pleasure.  And so other vices are related to each other as virtues are also connected with each other."

      They said of Abba Macarius the Great that he became, as it is written, a god upon earth, because, just as God protects the world, so Abba Macarius would cover the faults which he saw, as though he did not see them; and those which he heard, as though he did not hear them. "Christians," he said, "should judge no one, neither an open harlot, nor sinners, nor dissolute people, but should look upon all with simplicity of soul and a pure eye. Purity of heart, indeed, consists in seeing sinful and weak men and having compassion for them and being merciful."  On the subject of prayer he counselled, "It is enough if you will often repeat from your whole heart, 'Lord, as it pleases Thee and as Thou knowest, have mercy on me.' And if temptation comes upon you: 'Lord, help me!' The Lord knows what is profitable for us and has mercy on us."

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