ADVENT FIRE: December 11

ADVENT FIRE: December 11

From Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers 

Permeated Through and Through

A person who has established the virtues in himself and is entirely permeated with them no longer remembers the law or commandments or punishment.  Rather, he says and does what excellent habit suggests.

What the World Cried Out

It was said about Abba Macarius the Great that one time when he was working the harvest with the brothers, a wolf opened its mouth and let out a great cry, its eyes staring up to Heaven to the Lord.  The saint stopped and smiled with tears in his eyes.

When the brothers saw him, they were amazed.  They threw themselves down at his feet, beseeching him, “We beseech you, our father, tell us why you were staring with tears in your eyes.”

While he stared with tears in his eyes, his face shone like fire, like the rays of the sun, on account of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that was in him.  He said to them, “Didn’t you hear what this wolf cried out?”

They said to him, “What was that, our father?”

He said to them, “He cried up to the lover of humanity, to the compassionate one alone, who possesses the treasuries of numerous mercies, our Lord Jesus Christ, saying, “If you are not going to care about me and provide me with my food, at least tell me why I am suffering.  You were the one who created me.”  If even flesh-eating beasts have understanding and cry up to the goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ and he nourishes all of them, then how will he not care about us, who are rational beings, with his bountiful mercy and compassion?:

As the luminary and light-giver was saying these things to the brothers, the wolf stood with its mouth agape.  Afterwards, the beast went to the place where God had prepared food for it and all the brothers prostrated themselves and venerated the holy feet of our righteous father, the Spiritbearer Abba Macarius the Great, giving glory to our Lord Jesus Christ.

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