LENTEN FIRE: March 11

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

Being a witness for God

Question: I want to be a witness for God.

Answer: If someone bears with his neighbor during a fit of temper, it is equal to the furnace at the time of the three youth. (Daniel 3)

The tunic and the patch

A brother asked Abba Macarius, “My father, how can a person be free from the passions and be renewed in the Spirit?”

The old man said to him, “I will give you an analogy. (1 Corinthians 13:12)  It is like a tunic: if it is torn, a patch is put on it until it is made new once again.  The tunic can be compared to the body, torn by sin and pleasure.  the patch is the repentance that our Lord Jesus Christ gives to us.”

It’s your humility

When Abba Macarius was passing one time through the wadi to his cell, carrying some palm branches, the Devil met him on the path, carrying a scythe.  He tried to strike Abba Macarius but was unable to, and said to him, “You are powerful, Macarius!  I can’t do anything against you!  Look – what you can do, I can do too: you fast and I don’t eat anything at all; you keep vigil, and I don’t sleep at all.  There is only one thing at which you’re better than me.”

Abba Macarius said to him, “What is that?”

The Devil said to him, “It’s your humility.  On account of your humility, there is nothing I can do to you.”

And when the saint stretched out his hands, the demon disappeared and Abba Macarius continued on his way, giving glory to God.

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