us be wholly absorbed by grace
(Pseudo-Macarius) (300-391 AD)
Inside us evil is at work suggesting unworthy inclinations. However,
it is not in us in the same way as, to take an example, water mixes with
wine. Evil is in us without being mixed with good.
We are a field in which wheat and weeds are growing separately. We are
a house in which there is a thief, but also the owner. We are a spring
which rises from the middle of the mud, but pours out pure water.
All the same, it is enough to stir up the mud and the spring is fouled.
It is the same with the soul. If the evil is spread, it forms a unity
with the soul and makes it dirty. With our consent, evil is united with
the soul; they become accomplices.
Yet there comes a moment when the soul can free itself and remain separate
again: in repentance, contrition, prayer, recourse to God. The soul could
not benefit from these habits if it were always sunk in evil.
It is like marriage. A woman is united with a man and they become one
flesh. But when one of them dies, the other is left alone.
But union with the Holy Spirit is complete. So let us become a single
spirit with him. Let us be wholly absorbed by grace.
called Pseudo-Marcarius in the West, is the author of numerous ascetical
writings dating to the second half of the 4th century. These were handed
down under the name Macarius of Egypt (an Egyptian monk who was renowned
for his sanctity and miracles), and also under the name Symeon of Mesopotamia.]