Category Archives: St. Marcarius the Great

Born: 295 AD
Reposed: 392 AD
Feast Day: 19 January

St. Macarius the Great: When the soul of a man departs from the body . . .

Icon of St. Macarius the Great“When the soul of a man departs from the body, a certain great mystery is there enacted. If a person is under the guilt of sin, bands of demons and fallen angels approach along with the powers of darkness which capture the soul and drag it as a captive to their place. No one should be surprised by this fact. For if, while a man lived in this life, he was subject to them and was their obedient slave, how much more, when he leaves this world, is he captured and controlled by them?”

+ St. Macarius the Great, The Fifty Spiritual Homilies, Homily 22

St. Macarius the Great: The soul that really loves God and Christ . . .

Icon of St. Macarius the Great“The soul that really loves God and Christ, though it may do ten thousand righteousnesses, esteems itself as having wrought nothing, by reason of its insatiable aspiration after God.

Though it should exhaust the body with fastings, with watchings, its attitude towards the virtues is as if it had not yet even begun to labour for them.”

+ St. Macarius the Great

St. Macarius the Great: . . . Unless the man who is under the influence of the passions will come to God, denying the world, and will believe with patience and hope to receive a good thing . . .

Icon of St. Macarius the Great“Whatever the soul may think fit to do itself, whatever care and pains it may take, relying only upon its own power, and thinking to be able to effect a perfect success by itself, without the co-operation of the Spirit, it is greatly mistaken. It is of no use for the heavenly places; it is of no use for the kingdom – that soul, which supposes that it can achieve perfect purity of itself, and by itself alone, without the Spirit. Unless the man who is under the influence of the passions will come to God, denying the world, and will believe with patience and hope to receive a good thing foreign to his own nature, namely the power of the Holy Spirit, and unless the Lord shall drop upon the soul from on high the life of the Godhead, such a man will never experience true life, will never recover from the drunkenness of materialism; the enlightenment of the Spirit will never shine in that benighted soul, or kindle in it a holy daytime; it will never awake out of that deepest sleep of ignorance, and so come to know God of a truth through God’s power and the efficacy of grace.”

+ St. Macarius the Great, Spiritual Homilies, Homily 24

St. Macarius the Great: As the Lord put on the body . . .

Icon of St. Macarius the Great“As the Lord put on the body, leaving behind all principality and power, so Christians put on the Holy Spirit, and are at rest.”

+ St. Macarius the Great, “Spiritual Homilies” (Homily 26)

St. Macarius the Great: Like the tax collectors who sit in the narrow roads . . .

Icon of St. Marcarius the Great“Like the tax collectors who sit in the narrow roads and seize the passers-by and the oppressed, so also the demons watch carefully and grab hold of souls. And when they pass out of the body, if they are not completely purified, they are not permitted to go up into the mansions of Heaven there to meet their Master. For they are driven down by the demons of the air.”

— St. Macarius the Great, Homily 43, 9, CWS p. 222

St. Makarios of Egypt: It is significant how deeply attracted men are by the spectacle of an earthly king . . .

Icon of St. Marcarius the Great“It is significant how deeply attracted men are by the spectacle of an earthly king and how eagerly they seek after it; and how everyone who lives in a city where the king has his residence longs to catch a glimpse simply of the extravagance and ostentation of his entourage. Only under the influence of spiritual things will they disregard all this and look down on it, wounded by another beauty and desiring a different kind of glory. If the sight of a mortal king is so important to worldly people, how much more desirable must the sight of the immortal king be to those into whom some drops of the Holy Spirit have fallen and whose hearts have been smitten by divine love? For this they will relinquish all amity with the world, so that they may keep that longing continually in their hearts, preferring nothing to it.”

— St. Makarios of Egypt, The Philokalia

St. Marcarius the Great: That Paradise was closed . . .

Icon of St. Marcarius the Great“That Paradise was closed and that a Cherubim was commanded to prevent man from entering it by a flaming sword: of this we believe that in visible fashion it was indeed just as it is written, and at the same time we find that this occurs mystically in every soul.”

— St. Marcarius the Great, Seven Homilies, IV, 5