Macarius3They who have found the heavenly treasure of the Spirit, the Lord shining in their hearts, fulfil that entire extent of goodness there is in the commandments of the Lord, from that treasure that is within them – Christ – and by means of that do they amass together a large store of heavenly wealth.

For by means of the heavenly treasure do they work every virtue in the whole circle of righteousness, and every commandment of the Lord, by the help of the invisible riches of the grace within them.

Whoever therefore possesses within himself this heavenly treasure of the Spirit, he fulfils in this spirit all the righteousness of the commandments, and the complete practice of the virtues, without blame, and in purity; moreover without compulsion or difficulty.

Then let us beseech God, and seek diligently unto him, and pour out our supplications before him, that he would freely grant unto us the treasure of his Spirit, that we may be enabled to walk in all his commandments without reproof, and without blemish, and fulfil all the righteousness of the Spirit in purity and perfection.

For he that is poor, and naked, and a beggar, can purchase nothing in the world; but he that has a treasure at command, without trouble, is master of what possession he pleases.

So the soul that is naked, and destitute of God, cannot, would it ever so fain, produce any of the fruits of the Spirit of righteousness in truth and reality, before it actually partakes of the Spirit itself.

[…] We ought therefore to beg of God with earnestness of heart, that he would grant unto us his riches, the true treasure of Christ, in our hearts, in the power and efficacy of the Spirit.

And thus having found first within ourselves salvation and eternal life, we shall then profit others also, producing from that treasure of Christ within us all the goodness of spiritual discourses, and declaring heavenly mysteries.

For so it pleases the good will of the Father, that he should dwell with every one that believes: “He that loves me”, says Christ, “shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him”. And again, “We will come unto him, I and my Father, and make our abode with him”.

Thus did the infinite kindness of the Father’s will; thus was the inconceivable love of Christ pleased. And thus did the unspeakable goodness of the Spirit promise. Glory be to the tender mercies of the Holy Trinity, which surpass all expression!

Macarius the Egyptian (c. 300-391) [this homily, like much of the Macarian corpus is generally attributed to the anonymous author known as Pseudo-Macarius]; Spiritual Homily 10, 1-5, trans. by the Revd D.R. Jenning; full text, with corrections and editorial, at the Library Project.