Play Dead

by Ray Reuter on January 24, 2019

Macarius was a monk who lived in the desert for sixty years. He was known for his peace of soul, and his sayings and teaching were widely shared.

According to one story, a youth, desiring to become a monk, asked Macarius: “How may I be saved?” Macarius sent the disciple to a cemetery and told him first to rebuke and then to praise the dead, and to report back on what answer he received. “They were silent to both praise and reproach,” the young man reported. “And so you too,” Macarius instructed. “If you wish to be saved, be dead like the dead: think neither of insults from men nor of human glory. Do not become angry when insulted, nor puffed up when praised.”

One more piece of wisdom from Macarius when asked how to pray … “It is enough if you will often repeat from your whole heart: ‘Lord, as it pleases Thee and as Thou knowest, have mercy on me.’ And if temptation comes upon you: ‘Lord, help me!’ The Lord knows what is profitable for us and has mercy on us.” AMEN!

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