[Pseudo-] MACARIUS

 Pachomius receives the habit from Macarius

According to legend Macarius was visited twice by an angel, a cherub with six wings: during the second visitation, after he had become a hermit, the cherub directed him to found the monastery at Scetis.  He is also sometimes called Macarius the Spirit-Bearer, and thus depicted with angelic wings.

Mason, AJ (trans.), 1921, Fifty Spiritual Homilies of St Macarius the Egyptian, London: SPCK. Greek: Homiliae spirituales 50 (collectio H) Die 50 geistlichen Homilien des Makarios (De Gruyter, Berlin 1964 pp 1-322.



1. As once God was wroth with the Jews, and gave Jerusalem openly over to its enemies, and they which hated them were lords over them, and there was no longer any feast there, or any offering; so, being wroth with the soul, He gave it over to its enemies, both to devils and to passions ; and so, when these had seduced it, they ruined it utterly, and no longer was there any feast there, or any incense or offering sent up by it to God, its tokens being filled in the streets, dreadful beasts and serpent spirits of wickedness making their domicile within it ; and as a house, if it has not the master resident in it, gets clothed with darkness and shame and abuse, and filled with dirt and filth, so the soul which has not its Master with His angels making merry in it, gets filled with the darkness of sin, and the shame of passions, and all manner of disgrace.

  Ὥσπερ ὀργισθεὶς ὁ θεός ποτε Ἰουδαίοις παρέδωκε τὴν Ἱερουσαλὴμ εἰς τὸ προφανὲς ἐχθροῖς͵ καὶ ἐκυρίευον αὐτῶν οἱ μισοῦντες αὐτούς͵ καὶ οὐκ ἦν ἔτι ἐκεῖ ἑορτὴ οὔτε προσφορά͵ οὕτω καὶ τῇ ψυχῇ ὀργισθεὶς διὰ τὴν παράβασιν τῆς ἐντολῆς παρέδωκεν αὐτὴν τοῖς ἐχθροῖς͵ δαίμοσί τε καὶ πάθεσι͵ καὶ οὕτω πλανήσαντες αὐτὴν τελείως ἠφάνισαν͵ καὶ οὐκέτι ἦν ἐκεῖ οὔτε ἑορτὴ οὔτε θυμίαμα οὔτε προσφορὰ δι΄ αὐτῆς τῷ θεῷ ἀνα πεμπομένη͵ πλησθέντων ἐν ταῖς ὁδοῖς τῶν γνωρισμάτων αὐτῆς θηρίων δεινῶν͵ καὶ ἑρπετῶν πνευμάτων πονηρίας ἐν αὐτῇ καταλυόντων. καὶ ὥσπερ οἶκος ἐὰν μὴ ἔχῃ τὸν δεσπότην κατοικοῦντα͵ σκότος καὶ ἀτιμίαν καὶ ὕβριν ἐνδύεται καὶ ῥυπαρίας καὶ κοπριῶν ἐμπέπλησται͵ οὕτω καὶ ψυχὴ ἡ μὴ ἔχουσα τὸν δεσπότην αὐτῆς μετὰ τῶν ἀγγέλων ἐν ἑαυτῇ χορεύοντα͵ σκότους ἁμαρτίας καὶ αἰσχύνης παθῶν καὶ πάσης ἀτιμίας ἐμπίπλαται.

2. Alas for the street, if no one walks in it, nor hears in it the voice of man, because it becomes the habitation of wild beasts. Alas for the soul when the Lord takes not His way in it, and drives not out of it with His voice the spiritual wild beasts of wickedness. Alas for the house when the master does not live in it. Alas for the land when it has not the husbandman to till it. Alas for the ship when it has not the steersman, because it is carried along by the waves and surges of the sea and is lost. Alas for the soul when it has not Christ, the true steersman, in it, because finding itself in the sea of the bitterness of darkness, and tossed by the surge of passions, and storm-beaten by the winds of evil spirits, it ends by gaining perdition. Alas for the soul, when it has not Christ to till it carefully, that it may be able to bring forth good fruits of the Spirit ; because left desolate, and filled with thorns and thistles, its fruit in the end is the burning of fire. Alas for the soul when it has not Christ, its Master, living in it ; because, left desolate, and being filled with the noisome odour of passions, it finds itself the habitation of iniquity.

Οὐαὶ ὁδῷ͵ ἐπὰν μηδεὶς ἐν αὐτῇ περιπατῇ μήτε ἀκούῃ ἐν αὐτῇ φωνῆς ἀνθρώπου· ὅτι καταλυτήριον θηρίων τυγχάνει. οὐαὶ ψυχῇ͵ ὁπόταν μὴ διοδεύῃ ἐν αὐτῇ ὁ κύριος͵ καὶ τῇ φωνῇ αὐτοῦ φεύγῃ ἐξ αὐτῆς τὰ πνευ ματικὰ τῆς πονηρίας θηρία. οὐαὶ οἰκίᾳ͵ ὁπότε ὁ δεσπότης οὐκ οἰκεῖ ἐν αὐτῇ. οὐαὶ γῇ͵ ὁπότε μὴ ἔχει τὸν ἐργαζόμενον αὐτὴν γεωργόν. οὐαὶ πλοίῳ͵ ὁπόταν μὴ ἔχῃ τὸν κυβερνήτην͵ ὅτι ὑπὸ τῶν κυμάτων καὶ τοῦ σάλου τῆς θαλάσσης φερόμενον ἀπόλλυται. οὐαὶ ψυχῇ͵ ὁπόταν μὴ ἔχῃ τὸν ἀληθινὸν κυβερνήτην Χριστὸν ἐν αὐτῇ͵ ὅτι ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ τῆς πικρίας τοῦ σκότους τυγχάνουσα καὶ ὑπὸ τοῦ σάλου τῶν παθῶν κυματου μένη καὶ ὑπὸ τῶν πονηρῶν πνευμάτων χειμαζομένη τὸ τέλος ἀπώλειαν κτᾶται. οὐαὶ ψυχῇ͵ ὁπόταν μὴ ἔχῃ τὸν ἐργαζόμενον αὐτὴν ἐπιμελῶς Χριστόν͵ ἵνα καρποὺς ἀγαθοὺς τοῦ πνεύματος ἐνεγκεῖν δυνηθῇ͵ ὅτι ἔρημος οὖσα καὶ ἀκανθῶν καὶ τριβόλων μεστὴ τὸ τέλος καῦσιν πυρὸς καρποῦται. οὐαὶ ψυχῇ͵ ὁπόταν μὴ ἔχῃ τὸν δεσπότην αὐτῆς Χριστὸν ἐν ἑαυτῇ κατοικοῦντα͵ ὅτι ἔρημος οὖσα καὶ δυσωδίας παθῶν ἐμπεπλη σμένη καταλυτήριον κακίας τυγχάνει.

3. AS the husbandman, when he goes to work the earth, must take the proper tools and clothing for tilling, so Christ, the King, the heavenly and true husbandman, in coming to humanity, which had been laid desolate by sin, put on the body, and carried the cross for His tool, and so tilled the desolate soul, and took out of it the thorns and thistles of evil spirits, and plucked up the tares of sin, and burned up with fire every weed of its sins ; and thus tilling it with the wood of the cross He planted in it that fairest paradise of the Spirit, bearing every fruit that is sweet and desirable for God as its owner.

Ὥσπερ γὰρ ὁ γεωργὸς ἐπὰν πορεύηται ἐργάσασθαι τὴν γῆν͵ δέον τα ἐργαλεῖα καὶ ἄμφια πρὸς τὴν ἐργασίαν λαμβάνει͵ οὕτως καὶ Χριστὸς ὁ βασιλεὺς ὁ ἐπουράνιος καὶ ἀληθινὸς γεωργός͵ ἐλθὼν ἐπὶ τὴν ἐρημω θεῖσαν ὑπὸ τῆς κακίας ἀνθρωπότητα͵ ἐνδυσάμενος τὸ σῶμα καὶ ὡς ἐργαλεῖον τὸν σταυρὸν βαστάσας͵ εἰργάσατο τὴν ἔρημον ψυχὴν καὶ ἔλαβεν ἐξ αὐτῆς τὰς ἀκάνθας καὶ τριβόλους τῶν πονηρῶν πνευμάτων καὶ τὰ ζιζάνια τῆς ἁμαρτίας ἐξέτιλε καὶ πάντα χόρτον ἁμαρτημάτων αὐ τῆς πυρὶ κατέκαυσε͵ καὶ οὕτως ἐργασάμενος αὐτὴν τῷ ξύλῳ τοῦ σταυ ροῦ ἐφύτευσεν ἐν αὐτῇ τὸν παγκάλλιστον παράδεισον τοῦ πνεύματος͵ πάντα καρπὸν ἡδὺν καὶ ἐπιθυμητὸν φέροντα τῷ δεσπότῃ θεῷ.

4. And as in Egypt, during the three daysí darkness, the son saw not his father, nor brother, brother, nor true friend his friend, because the darkness hid them, so when Adam transgressed the commandment and fell from his former glory, and came under the power of the spirit of the world, and the veil of darkness fell upon his soul, from his time and until the last Adam, the Lord, they saw not the true Father in heaven, or the good, kind mother, the grace of the Spirit, or the sweet and desired Brother, the Lord, or the friends and kindred, the holy angels, with whom He rejoiced, making merry and keeping festival. And it was not only until the last Adam, but even to this day those upon whom the Sun of righteousness, 1 Christ, has not arisen, and in whom the eyes of the soul have not been opened and enlightened by the true light, are still under the same darkness of sin, wrought upon by the same influence of pleasures, subject to the same punishment, not yet having eyes to behold the Father.

Καὶ ὥσπερ ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ͵ τριημέρου σκότους γενομένου͵ οὐκ ἔβλεπεν υἱὸς πατέρα οὔτε ἀδελφὸς ἀδελφὸν οὔτε φίλος γνήσιον φίλον͵ τοῦ σκότους καλύψαντος αὐτούς͵ οὕτω τοῦ Ἀδὰμ παραβάντος τὴν ἐντολὴν καὶ πεσόντος ἀπὸ τῆς προτέρας δόξης καὶ ὑπὸ τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ κόσμου γε γονότος͵ καὶ τοῦ καλύμματος τοῦ σκότους ἐλθόντος ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ αὐτοῦ͵ ἀπ΄ αὐτοῦ καὶ μέχρι τοῦ ἐσχάτου Ἀδάμ͵ τοῦ κυρίου͵ οὐκ ἔβλεπον τὸν ἀληθινὸν πατέρα τὸν ἐπουράνιον καὶ τὴν ἀγαθὴν καὶ χρηστὴν μητέρα͵ τὴν χάριν τοῦ πνεύματος͵ καὶ τὸν γλυκὺν καὶ ποθούμενον ἀδελφόν͵ τὸν κύριον͵ καὶ τοὺς φίλους καὶ γνησίους ἀγγέλους ἁγίους͵ μεθ΄ ὧν ἔχαιρε χορεύων καὶ ἑορτάζων. οὐ μόνον δὲ ἕως τοῦ ἐσχάτου Ἀδάμ͵ ἀλλ΄ ἔτι καὶ νῦν ἐφ΄ οὓς οὐκ ἀνέτειλεν ὁ ἥλιος τῆς δικαιοσύνης Χριστός͵ καὶ ὧν οὐκ ἠνοίγησαν οἱ τῆς ψυχῆς ὀφθαλμοί͵ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀληθινοῦ φωτὸς φω τισθέντες͵ ὑπὸ τὸ αὐτὸ σκότος τῆς ἁμαρτίας ἔτι τυγχάνουσι͵ τὴν αὐτὴν τῶν ἡδονῶν ἐνέργειαν ἔχοντες͵ τῇ αὐτῇ τιμωρίᾳ ὑποκείμενοι͵ ὀφθαλμοὺς βλέποντας τὸν πατέρα μηδέπω ἔχοντες.

5. This is a thing which every one ought to know, that there are eyes deeper within than these eyes, and a hearing deeper within than this hearing. As these eyes sensibly behold and recognise the face of a friend or beloved one, so the eyes of the worthy and faithful soul, being spiritually enlightened with the light of God, behold and recognise the true Friend, the sweetest and greatly longed for Bride- groom, the Lord, while the soul is shone upon by the adorable Spirit; and thus beholding with the mind the desirable and only inexpressible beauty, it is smitten with passionate love of God, and is directed into all virtues of the Spirit, and thus possesses an unbounded, unfailing love for the Lord it longs for. What therefore is more blessed than that everlasting voice of John, when he shows the Lord before our eyes, saying, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 2

Τοῦτο γὰρ ὀφείλει γινώσκειν ἕκαστος͵ ὅτι εἰσὶν ὀφθαλμοὶ ἐνδότεροι τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν τούτων καὶ ἔστιν ἀκοὴ ἐνδοτέρα τῆς ἀκοῆς ταύτης. καὶ ὥσπερ οὗτοι οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ αἰσθητῶς βλέπουσι καὶ κατανοοῦσι τὸ πρόσ ωπον τοῦ φίλου ἢ τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ͵ οὕτως καὶ οἱ τῆς ἀξίας καὶ πιστῆς ψυχῆς ὀφθαλμοὶ πνευματικῶς φωτισθέντες φωτὶ θεϊκῷ βλέπουσι καὶ κατανοοῦσι τὸν ἀληθινὸν φίλον καὶ γλυκύτατον καὶ πολυπόθητον νυμφίον͵ τὸν κύριον͵ καταλαμπομένης τῆς ψυχῆς ὑπὸ τοῦ προσκυνητοῦ πνεύματος͵ καὶ οὕτω βλέπουσα νοερῶς τὸ ἐπιθυμητὸν καὶ μόνον ἀνεκλά λητον κάλλος͵ εἰς ἔρωτα θεῖον τιτρώσκεται καὶ εἰς πάσας ἀρετὰς ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύματος κατευθύνεται͵ καὶ οὕτως ἀόριστον καὶ ἀνέκλειπτον κέκτηται ἀγάπην πρὸς τὸν ὑπ΄ αὐτῆς ποθούμενον κύριον. Τί τοίνυν μακαριώτερον τῆς ἀϊδίου φωνῆς ἐκείνης Ἰωάννου δεικνύ οντος πρὸ ὀφθαλμῶν τὸν κύριον λέγοντος· ἴδε ὁ ἀμνὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ὁ αἴρων τὴν ἁμαρτίαν τοῦ κόσμου;

6. Truly among them that are born of women there is none greater than John the Baptist? He is the fulfilment of all the prophets. All the prophets prophesied of the Lord, showing His coming afar off: John prophesied of the Saviour and showed Him before all eyes, crying aloud and saying, Behold the Lamb of God I x What a sweet and beautiful voice of him who shews then and there Him whom he heralded ! Greater than John is none of them that are born of women. Bui he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he 2 the apostles, born of God from above, who received the firstfruits of the Comforter Spirit for they were allowed to be His fellow- judges and partners of His throne; they have been made redeemers of men. You find them dividing the sea of evil powers, leading believing souls through. You find them husbandmen, tilling the vine of the soul. You find them bridesmen, marrying souls to Christ : / have espoused you, it says, to one Husband. 3 You find them giving life to men. In short, you find them in sundry parts and in divers manners* serving the Spirit. This is the little one who is greater than John the Baptist.

ἀληθῶς ἐν γεννητοῖς γυναικῶν οὐδεὶς μείζων Ἰωάννου τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ· πλήρωμα γὰρ πάντων τῶν προφητῶν τυγχάνει. καὶ πάντες μὲν προεφήτευσαν περὶ τοῦ κυρίου͵ μήκοθεν δεικνύοντες αὐτὸν παραγινόμενον. αὐτὸς δὲ προφητεύων περὶ τοῦ σωτῆρος ἐδείκνυε παρ΄ ὀφθαλμοῖς͵ πᾶσι βοῶν καὶ λέγων· ἴδε ὁ ἀμνὸς τοῦ θεοῦ. τί ἡδεῖα καὶ καλὴ ἡ φωνὴ εὐθὺ δεικνύοντος τὸν ὑπ΄ αὐτοῦ κηρυσσόμενον. μείζων Ἰωάννου ἐν γεννητοῖς γυναικῶν οὐδείς· ὁ δὲ μικρότερος ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν μείζων αὐτοῦ ἐστιν. οἱ ἄνωθεν ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ γεννηθέντες ἀπόστολοι οἱ τὴν ἀπαρχὴν τοῦ παρα κλήτου πνεύματος λαβόντες͵ οὗτοι γὰρ συνδικασταὶ καὶ σύνθρονοι κατηξιώθησαν γενέσθαι· οὗτοι λυτρωταὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων γεγόνασιν. εὑρίσκεις αὐτοὺς σχίζοντας θάλασσαν δυνάμεων πονηρῶν καὶ διαγαγόν τας ψυχὰς πιστευούσας. εὑρίσκεις αὐτοὺς γεωργοὺς τὴν ἄμπελον τῆς ψυχῆς ἐργαζομένους. εὑρίσκεις αὐτοὺς παρανύμφους νυμφεύοντας ψυχὰς Χριστῷ· ἡρμοσάμην γὰρ φησὶν ὑμᾶς ἑνὶ ἀνδρί. εὑρίσκεις αὐτοὺς διδόντας ζωὴν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις. καὶ ἁπαξαπλῶς εὑρίσκεις αὐτοὺς πολυ μερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως διακονοῦντας τῷ πνεύματι. οὗτος οὖν ἐστιν ὁ μικρός͵ ὁ μείζων Ἰωάννου τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ.

7. As the husbandman governs a yoke of oxen and tills the ground, so the Lord Jesus, the fair true Husbandman, yoked the apostles two and two and sent them forth, tilling with them the ground of those who hear and truly believe. Only this is worth saying, that the kingdom of God and the preaching of the apostles is not in the word of hearing only, like one who knows a set of words and rehearses them to others, but the kingdom is in power and effectual working of the Spirit. This was the sad case of the children of the Israelites ; always studying the scriptures, and in fact making the Lord the theme of their study, and yet not receiving the truth itself, they parted with that inheritance to others. So those who rehearse to others words of the Spirit, while they do not themselves possess the word in power, part with the inheritance to others. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost for ever. Amen.

ὥσπερ γὰρ ὁ γεωργὸς ζεῦγος βοῶν κατέχων ἐργάζεται τὴν γῆν͵ τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον καὶ ὁ κύριος Ἰησοῦς͵ ὁ καλὸς καὶ ἀληθινὸς γεωργός͵ δύο δύο ἀποστόλους ζεύξας ἀπέστειλεν αὐτούς͵ μετ΄ αὐτῶν ἐργαζόμενος τὴν γῆν τῶν ἀκουόν των καὶ ἐν ἀληθείᾳ πιστευόντων. Πλὴν καὶ τοῦτο εἰπεῖν ἄξιον͵ ὡς οὐκ ἐν λόγῳ μόνον ἀκοῆς ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τὸ τῶν ἀποστόλων κήρυγμα͵ ὡς ἄν τις εἰδὼς λόγους καὶ ἑτέροις ἐκδιηγούμενος͵ ἀλλ΄ ἐν δυνάμει καὶ ἐνεργείᾳ πνεύ ματος ἡ βασιλεία τυγχάνει. ταῦτα γὰρ πεπόνθασι καὶ Ἰσραηλιτῶν παῖδες͵ μελετῶντες τὰς γραφὰς ἀεὶ καὶ περὶ τοῦ κυρίου δῆθεν τὴν μελέτην ἔχοντες͵ καὶ τὴν ἀλήθειαν αὐτὴν μὴ δεξάμενοι͵ ἑτέροις τὴν αὐτῶν κληρονομίαν ἀπέδοντο. οὕτως καὶ οἱ λόγους τοῦ πνεύματος διηγού μενοι ἐτέροις͵ αὐτοὶ τὸν λόγον ἐν δυνάμει μὴ κεκτημένοι͵ ἄλλοις ἀποδί δονται τὴν κληρονομίαν. δόξα πατρὶ καὶ υἱῷ καὶ ἁγίῳ πνεύματι εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. ἀμήν.


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