Tuesday, 5 March 2013

St Makarios the Great-On how the soul ought to demean herself in holiness and purity..

Homily 7
This Homily teaches us how the soul ought to demean herself in holiness and purity, towards her Bridegroom. JESUS CHRIST.

 1. IF a glorious prince should take a liking to a poor woman that has nothing, and have her brought home to him for his spouse, she ought ever after to show all good will to this husband, and retain a constant love for him. But if she transgresses the bounds of decency and duty, then she is turned out of doors with disgrace and reproach, and is full of sorrow; reflecting from how great wealth she is fallen, and what glory she has lost. Thus also the soul, which CHRIST, the heavenly Bridegroom, shall espouse to himself, ought to please CHRIST, her lover; carrying herself in the house of this heavenly Spouse with a fair deportment, and a grateful sense of the grace bestowed upon her. Lo! such a soul is actually invested with the full command of all her Lord's goods, and her body becomes the glorious tabernacle of his Godhead. But if she do not the things that are pleasing to him, and is not perfectly observant of his will, then with reproach and disgrace is she disrobed of all her honor, as no way proper for the communion of the heavenly King. And after that, there commences an universal grief and lamentation over that soul among all the saints and intellectual spirits: angels, powers, apostles, prophets,, and martyrs, mourn for her. For as " there is joy in heaven," as the Lord has said, " over one sinner that repenteth," so is there great grief and mourning in heaven over one soul that falls from eternal life.
2. We must therefore strive, and with the utmost prudence take care to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling." Whosoever therefore you are, that have been made partakers of the Spirit of CHRIST, look upon yourselves in no case whatever, whether small, or great, to be above advice; neither do any despite to the Spirit of grace, that you may be never excluded from the life which you have been made to partake of. Let us therefore beg of GOD, that we, as many as have been partakers of his grace, may minister acceptably in the service of the Spirit, according to his will; that thus serving him according to his will with a spiritual service, we may inherit eternal life.

3. But can a man fall that has the gift of grace? Answ. If he grow careless, he certainly falls. For his enemies are never idle, or backward in the war. How ought you then never to desist from seeking after GOD? For the damage which you sustain by your neglect is exceeding great, though you may seem to be even established in the mystery of grace.

4. Are the perfect liable to affliction or war, or are they entirely free from care? Answ. An enemy never respites any from the war. And SATAN is perfectly void of mercy: wherefore neither is he backward to set upon any man whatever, though he does not attack all in the same measure and degree.

5. But there is need of much pains and labor, that a man may seek and lay the foundations, till' such a time as the fire shall come into the hearts of men, and purge away the thorns. And thus do they begin to be sanctified, giving glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, for ever. Amen.

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