Macarius3Continued from here….

To some…the sign of the cross has appeared in light and fastened itself upon the inward man.

[…]  At another time there was brought as it were a shining garment, such as there is none on earth in the course of this world, nor is it possible for human hands to make the like;

for as when the Lord went up into the mountain with Peter and John, He changed the fashion of His raiment and made it to flash with light, so was it with this garment, and the man who was clothed with it wondered and was amazed.

Another while, the light shining in the heart disclosed the inner, deeper, hidden light, so that the man, swallowed up in the sweetness of the contemplation, was no longer master of himself, but was like a fool or a barbarian to this world by reason of the surpassing love and sweetness, by reason of the hidden mysteries;

so that the man for that season was set at liberty, and came to perfect measures, and was pure and free from sin; yet afterwards grace retreated, and the veil of the adverse power came; notwithstanding, grace still shews itself in part, and he stands on the first and lowest step of perfection.

There are twelve steps, we might say, which a man has to pass before he reaches perfection. For a season that measure has been attained, and perfection entered upon; and then grace gives in, and he comes down by one step, and stands on the eleventh.

Here and there one man rich in grace has stood always, night and day, in perfect measures, at liberty and in purity, always captive and aloft.

Well now, if the man to whom those marvelous things were shewn, of which he has had actual experience, were to have them always present with him, he would be unable to undertake the dispensation of the word and the burden of it, nor could he endure to listen to, or take any interest in, any ordinary thing, concerning himself, or concerning the morrow, but only to sit in a corner, aloft and intoxicated.

So the perfect measure has not been given, in order that he may be free to take an interest in his brethren, and in the ministry of the word. Nevertheless the middle wall of partition has been broken through (Ephesians 2:14) and death is overcome.

Macarius the Egyptian (c. 300-391) [attributed]: Spiritual Homily 8, 3-4 @ Pravoslavie.

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