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St Macarius the Great Spiritual Homilies

HOMILIES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22

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HOMILY 13: That no man, unless he is strengthened by CHRIST, is able to get clear of the stumbling-blocks of SATAN. And what they ought to do, that are desirous of the Divine glory.

1. THEY in whom is the Divine law ingrafted in the heart, having the eyes of their mind enlightened, are able to get clear of the stumbling-blocks of the wicked one. But they that are not honored with the word of GOD, being vainly puffed up, imagine that by their own freewill they can cut off all occasions of sin, which yet is condemned through the mystery of the cross alone.

2. For it is impracticable to go upon the asp and the basilisk, and to tread upon the lion and the draGOD, unlass we are first enabled by him that said to the apostles, " Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents, and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy." For were the human nature able, without the complete armor of the Holy Spirit, to stand against the wiles of the devil, we had never been told by the apostle, "The GOD of peace shall bruise SATAN under your feet shortly." He therefore that is desirous to be made partaker of the Divine glory, ought, with an insatiable affection, with his whole heart and strength, night and day to seek help from God.

3. Wherefore endeavor all you can to become the child of GOD, without blame, and to enter into that rest, " whither the forerunner CHRIST is entered for us." Do your utmost that your name be written in the church in heaven with the first-born; that you may be found "at the right hand of the Majesty on high." Study to enter into the holy city, the peaceful Jerusalem. Pour out tears day and night, according to him that said, " Every night wash I my bed, and water my couch with my tears." For "they that sow in tears shall reap in joy." Wherefore the prophet expresses himself with confidence, "Hold not thy peace at my tears." 4. Seek him only who said, " I am come to send fire on earth, which I would it were already kindled." For this burning of the Spirit it is that kindles up new life in the heart. This Divine fire is used to enlighten souls, and to try them as the pure gold in the furnace, but to consume sin as thorns and stubble. This inflamed the heart of Cleopas and his companion, as our Savior was talking to them after the resurrection. This burns up the beam in the inward eye, and restores the mind to its purity, that so, upon recovering its native power of seeing, it may incessantly behold the wonders of God. Let us pray this fire that it would come to us also; that we, walking at all times in the light, may never,-no, not for a moment, " dash our feet against a stone;" but, as lights shining in the world, may hold forth the word of eternal life;" that, enjoying the good things of GOD, we may rest with the Lord in life, glorifying the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. To whom be glory for ever! Amen.

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