Like One That is Wounded, Be Always Crying to the Lord (Macarius the Great)

8. Whichever the soul is mixed with, it is thenceforward united with the same in the motions of the will. Either it has the light of God within it, and lives in the same, in all virtues, and belongs to the light of rest, or it has the darkness of sin, and meets with condemnation. The soul that desires to live with God in rest and eternal light must come, as was said before, to Christ the true High-priest, and be slain, and die to the world, and to the former life of the darkness of wickedness, and be translated into another life and to a conversation that is divine. As when a man dies in some city, he neither hears the voice of the people there, nor their talking, nor the noise that they make, but is once for all dead, and is translated to another region, where there are no voices and none of the cries of that city, even so the soul, when it is once slain and dead to that city of the evil passions in which it dwells and lives, hears no longer within itself the voice of the communings of darkness; no longer is heard the talking and crying of vain disputation, or of the hubbub of the spirits of darkness; but it is translated into a city all full of goodness and peace, into the city of the light of the Godhead, and there it lives, and hears, and there it has its citizenship, and talks, and communes, and there it works spiritual works, that are worthy of God.
9. Let us therefore pray that we ourselves may be slain through His power, and die to the world of the wickedness of darkness, and that the spirit of sin may be destroyed in us, and that we may put on and receive the soul of the heavenly Spirit, and be translated from the wickedness of darkness into the light of Christ, and may rest in life through world after world. For as on the race-course the chariots run, and the one that gets the start of the other is a clog, and check, and hindrance to the other, so that it cannot make progress and get to victory first, so do the thoughts of the soul and of sin run in man. If the thought of sin happens to get the start, it clogs and checks and hampers and hinders the soul, so that it cannot get near to God and carry off the victory from it. But where the Lord mounts and takes the reins of the soul into His own hands, He always wins, skilfully managing and guiding the chariot of the soul into a heavenly and inspired mind for ever. He does not war against wickedness; having always supreme power and authority in Himself, He works Himself the victory. So the Cherubim are driven, not where they are inclined of themselves to go, but where the Rider or Charioteer directs. Where He wills, they go; and He supports them. The hand of a man, it says, was under them. These holy souls are driven and guided by the Spirit of Christ, who holds the reins, whithersoever He pleases when He pleases, in heavenly communings ; when He pleases, that it should be in the body ; where He pleases, there they minister. As the wings are the feet of the bird, so the heavenly light of the Spirit takes up the wings of the thoughts of worthy souls, guiding and managing as He knows best.
10. When thou hearest these things, therefore, look to thyself, whether thou art in deed and in truth possessed of them in thine own soul. They are not mere words spoken ; it is a work of truth going on in thy soul. If thou hast it not, but art destitute of such spiritual good things, thou oughtest to have continual grief and sorrow and trouble, as one still dead to the kingdom. Like one that is wounded, be always crying to the Lord, and ask in faith, that this true life may be vouchsafed even to thee. When God made this body of ours, He did not grant to it that it should have life either from His own nature or from the body itself, nor meat and drink, raiment and shoes; He appointed that it should have all the supplies of life from without, making the body in itself quite naked, and it is impossible for the body to live at all apart from things outside itself, without food and drink and clothing. If it attempts to subsist upon its own nature alone, taking nothing from without, it wastes and perishes. In the same manner is it with the soul also. It has not the divine light, though it is created after the image of God. So has He ordered its conditions, and has been pleased that it should not have eternal life of its own nature ; but of His Godhead, of His Spirit, of His light, it has spiritual meat and drink, and heavenly clothing, which are the soul’s life, the life indeed.
11. As, then, we have seen that the body’s life is not from itself, but from without, from the earth, and apart from the things without it is impossible for it to live, so also, unless the soul be born now into that land of the living[1] and spiritually draw nourishment from it and make increase, growing up unto the Lord, and be arrayed from the Godhead with the ineffable raiment of heavenly beauty, without that sustenance it is impossible for it to live, of itself, in enjoyment and rest. The divine nature contains the bread of life, which said, I am the bread of life[2] and living water[3] and wine that maketh glad the heart of man[4] and the oil of gladness[5], and the whole variety of the food of the heavenly Spirit, and the heavenly raiment of light which comes from God. In these things the eternal life of the soul consists. Woe to the body when it stands upon its own nature, because then it wastes and dies ; and woe to the soul if it takes its stand upon nothing but its own nature, and puts its trust in nothing but its own works, not having the fellowship of the Spirit of God, because it dies, not having the eternal life of the Godhead vouchsafed to it. When men are sick, as soon as the body is no longer able to receive nourishment, all hopes of them are given over, and all true friends and kinsfolk and lovers are in tears. In the same way, God and the holy angels are in tears over souls that are not nourished with the heavenly nourishment of the Spirit, and have not come to life in incorruption. These things, I say again, are not merely words that are spoken, but the work of spiritual life, the work of truth accomplished upon the soul that is worthy and faithful.
From Saint Macarius the Great, Fifty Spiritual Homilies (trans. A. J. Mason) (Willits, CA: Eastern Orthodox Books, 1074).

[1] Psa. 27:13
[2] John 6:35
[3] John 4:10
[4] Psa. 104:5
[5] Psa. 45:7
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تبرع لمساندة أنشطة الدير ونشكر أي مساهمة منكم مهما كانت صغيرة.

ويمكنكم التبرع لمشروع إخوة الرب وهو مشروع لمعونة الأيتام والفقراء (مشروع الملاك ميخائيل) أسسه الأب متى المسكين ويعوله دير القديس أنبا مقار.

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برع لمساندة أنشطة الدير ونشكر أي مساهمة منكم مهما كانت صغيرة.

و يمكنكم التبرع لمشروع إخوة الرب وهو مشروع لمعونة الأيتام والفقراء (مشروع الملاك ميخائيل) أسسه الأب متى المسكين ويعوله دير القديس أنبا مقار.

Donate to support the Monastery’s activities or for the “Archangel Michael Coptic Care” program which helps orphans and needy people in Egypt.
FOR US CITIZENS
“Archangel Michael Coptic Care” has been registered in the USA to serve and help the poor of Egypt in a significant way. Our Tax ID # is: 43-1957120. Your contribution is all TAX DEDUCTIBLE. You will receive a yearly report of your contribution for your tax record. Please write the check to: Archangel Michael Coptic Care. Mail your check to: P.O. Box # 1574, Centreville, VA 20122, USA or donate with credit card or Paypal.