St. Macarius the Great of Egypt
Commemorated on January 19
The meekness and humility of the monk transformed human souls.“A harmful word,” said Abba Macarius, “makes good things bad, but a good word makes bad things good.”
When the monks asked him how to pray properly, he answered, “Prayer does not require many words. It is needful to say only, “Lord, as Thou wilt and as Thou knowest, have mercy on me.” If an enemy should fall upon you, you need only say, “Lord, have mercy!” The Lord knows that which is useful for us, and grants us mercy.”
The way to God and the experience of the holy ascetics of union with God is revealed to each believer’s heart.
A tear shed from great sorrow and heartfelt distress is food for the soul, given from heavenly bread.”
A God-bearing contemplator or seer of mysteries is a true wise man or lover of wisdom (philosopher).
The gift of love in St. Macarius attained the highest degree. His love for his neighbor was revealed especially in his condescension to the weaknesses of others. By the testimony of the elders of Scetis, he was as it were an “earthly god” just as God, they said, while seeing the whole world docs not chastise sinners, so also Macarius covered up men’s weaknesses, which as it were he saw without seeing, and’ heard without hearing. “Christians,” he said, “should judge no one, neither an open harlot, nor sinners, nor dissolute people, but should look upon all with simplicity of soul and a pure eye. Purity of heart, indeed, consists in seeing sinful and weak men and having compassion for them and being merciful.“
Apolytikion St. Macarius the Great of Egypt in the First Tone
Thou didst prove to be a citizen of the desert, an angel in the flesh, and a wonderworker, O Makarios, our God-bearing Father. By fasting, vigil, and prayer thou didst obtain heavenly gifts, and thou healest the sick and the souls of them that have recourse to thee with faith. Glory to Him that hath given thee strength. Glory to Him that hath crowned thee. Glory to Him that worketh healings for all through thee.