Macarius3Continued from here….

The case stands thus, as if some foggy power hangs over and forms a light screen, like a dense air, though the lamp is burning and shining all the while, even as a veil hangs over yonder light.

So this man confesses that he is not perfect or altogether free from sin.

He says that the middle wall of partition has been broken through and shattered, and yet, at some point not wholly broken, nor at all times.

There are moments when grace kindles up and comforts and refreshes more fully; there are moments when it retreats and clouds over, according as grace itself manages for the man’s advantage.

But who is there that has come to the perfect measure at particular seasons, and has tasted and had direct experience of that world?

A perfect Christian man, one completely free, I have not yet seen.

Although one and another is at rest in grace, and enters into mysteries and revelations and into much sweetness of grace, still sin is yet present within.

By reason of the exceeding grace and of the light that is in them, men consider themselves free and perfect; but inexperience deceives them. They are under the influence of grace, but I have never yet seen a man that is free.

I myself at times have in part come to that measure, and I have learned to know that it does not constitute a perfect man.

Question. Tell us, if thou wilt, what measures thou art in?

Answer. After the sign of the cross, grace now acts thus. It calms all the members and the heart, so that the soul, for much joy, appears like an innocent child, and the man no longer condemns Greek or Jew, sinner or worldling.

The inner man regards all men with a pure eye, and the man rejoices over all the world, and desires that all should worship and love, Greeks and Jews.

At another moment, like the king’s son, he is as bold in the Son of God as in a father, and doors are opened to him, and he enters within to many mansions (John 14:2).

And the further he goes in, doors are again opened in progression, a hundred mansions leading to a hundred beyond, and he is rich, and the richer he is, other new wonders are again disclosed to him.

And he is entrusted, as a son and an heir, with things that cannot be told by mankind or put into syllables by mouth and tongue. Glory to God. Amen.

Macarius the Egyptian (c. 300-391) [attributed]: Spiritual Homily 8, 5-6 @ Pravoslavie.

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