Orthodox America

  Not of the World

Not in form or in outward figures lies the distinguishing mark of Christians. Most men think that the difference which distinguishes themselves from the world consists in a form and in figures; and lo! in mentality and understanding they are like the world, undergoing the same shaking and inconstancy of thought, and unbelief,and confusion, and disturbance, and fear as all other men. In outward form and appearance they differ from the world, and in a few points of religious ordinance; but in heart and mind they are bound with earthly bonds, never having acquired rest from God and the peace of the heavenly Spirit in their heart, because they never sought it from God, nor believed that He would vouchsafe these things to them.

It is in the renewing of the mind, and the peace of the thoughts, and the love and heavenly attachment for the Lord, that the new creation-the Christian-is distinguished from all the men of the world. This was the purpose of the Lord's coming: to vouchsafe these spiritual blessings to those who truly believe in Him. Christians have a glory and a beauty and a heavenly wealth which is beyond words, and it is won with pains, and sweat, and trials, and many conflicts, and all by the grace of God.

- Saint Macarius the Great (+390)

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