humility

from the life of St Macarius of Egypt . . .

St Macarius gave advice to a young man who wished to become a monk: “Flee from people and you shall be saved.” That one asked: “What does it mean to flee from people?” The monk answered: “Sit in your cell and repent of your sins.”

St Macarius sent him to a cemetery to rebuke and then to praise the dead. Then he asked him what they said to him. The young man replied, “They were silent to both praise and reproach.” “If you wish to be saved, be as one dead. Do not become angry when insulted, nor puffed up when praised.” And further: “If slander is like praise for you, poverty like riches, insufficiency like abundance, then you shall not perish.”

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