Sunday, March 13, 2011

Put Off the Old Man

"For when the apostle says, Put off the old man,  he means a complete man, with eyes for eyes, ears for ears, hands for hands, and feet for feet. For the evil one has defiled the entire man, soul and body, and dragged him down, and has clothed the man with an "old man," polluted man, unclean, at enmity with God, not subject to the law of God, and all identified with sin, that he may no longer see as the man himself wishes, but may see wrongly, and hear wrongly, and have feet that are swift to do evil, and hands that work iniquity, and a heart that devises evil things. Let us therefore beseech God that He would put off the old man from us; because He alone is able to take away sin from us, for those that have taken us captive, and that detain us in their kingdom, are too mighty for us. But He has promised to deliver us from this sore bondage. When there is a hot sun and a wind blowing, the sun and the wind each have a body and nature of their own, but no one can separate between sun and wind, unless God, who alone can, should make the wind to cease from blowing. In like manner sin is mingled with the soul, though each has its own nature.  It is impossible to separate between the soul and sin, unless God should stop and repress this evil wind, which dwells in the soul and in the body."

- Saint Macarius the Egyptian

Reference: Mason, A.J. Fifty spiritual homilies of St. Macarius the Egyptian. London, 1921. 12-13.