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It is better for you to enter into life


When he sees your earnestness in seeking him, then he appears and manifests himself to you.


If we do not dissolve ourselves in sloth and turn over the pastures of our minds to the disorderly thoughts of evil, but we force our mind to obey our will, compelling our thoughts toward the Lord, without doubt the Lord will come to us with his will and take us unto himself in truth. 

Everything that is pleasing and is of service is found in the thoughts.  Therefore strive to please the Lord, always waiting expectantly for him from within, seeking him in your thoughts and forcing and compelling your own will and deliberation to stretch out always toward him.  And see how he comes to you and makes his abode in you (Jn 14:23). 

For as much as you concentrate your mind to seek him, so much more does he, by his own tender compassion and goodness, come to you and give you rest.  He stands, gazing on your mind, your thoughts, your desires.  He observes how you seek him-whether with your whole soul, with no sloth, with no negligence.

And when he sees your earnestness in seeking him, then he appears and manifests himself to you.  He gives you his own help and makes the victory yours, as he delivers you from your enemies.  For when he first sees you seeking after him, and how you are totally waiting expectantly without ceasing for him, he then teaches and gives you true prayer, genuine love, which is himself made all things in you:  paradise, tree of life, pearl, crown, builder, cultivator, sufferer, one incapable of suffering, man, God, wine, living water, lamb, bridegroom warrior, armor, Christ, all in all.



Pseudo-Macarius. "It is better for you to enter into life." excerpt from Fifty Spiritual Homilies (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, Ltd., 1992).

This excerpt appeared in Magnificat.


The Author

Macarius of Egypt (ca. 300-391) was an Egyptian Christian monk and hermit. He is also known as Macarius the Elder, Macarius the Great and The Lamp of the Desert. Fifty Spiritual Homilies were ascribed to Macarius a few generations after his death, and these texts had a widespread and considerable influence on Eastern monasticism. Macarius is a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, Oriental Orthodox Churches and Roman Catholic Church.

Copyright © Macarius of Egypt
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