Macarius3Suppose there is a king, and he has goods and servants under him to minister to him, and he happens to be taken by his enemies and carried captive.

When he is taken and removed from his country, his ministers and servants cannot but follow after him.

Thus Adam was created pure by God for His service, and these creatures were given him to minister to his wants. He was appointed lord and king of all creatures.

But when the evil word came to him, and conversed with him, he first received it by the outward hearing, then it penetrated through his heart, and took possession of all his being.

When he was thus seized, creation, which served him and ministered to him, was seized with him. Through him death reigned over every soul, and defaced every image of Adam in consequence of his disobedience.

[…] At this point there comes in person He who fashioned body and soul, and undoes the whole business of the wicked one, and his works accomplished in men’s thoughts, and renews and forms a heavenly image, and makes a new thing of the soul, that Adam may again be king over death and lord of the creatures.

In the shadow of the law, Moses was called the Saviour of Israel, because he brought them out of Egypt. So now the true Redeemer, Christ, goes through into the hidden places of the soul, and brings it out of dark Egypt, and the heavy yoke, and the bitter bondage.

He commands us, therefore, to come out of the world, and to become poor of all visible things, and to have no earthly care, but night and day to stand at the door, and wait for the time when the Lord shall open the closed hearts, and shall pour upon us the gift of the Spirit.

He told us therefore to leave gold, silver, kinsfolk, to sell that which we have and distribute to the poor, and to treasure it up and seek it in heaven. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

The Lord knew that in this quarter Satan prevails over the thoughts, to drag them down to anxiety for material, earthly things.

For this reason God, in providential care for your soul, told you to renounce all, in order that even against your will you might seek the heavenly riches, and keep your heart directed towards God.

For even if you should wish to return to the creaturely things, you find nothing visible in you possession….

You are compelled to send your mind to heaven, where you have treasured these things and laid them up; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Macarius the Egyptian (c. 300-391) [attributed]: Spiritual Homily 11, 5-7, trans. by A.J. Mason DD.

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