Abba Evagrius said, “I visited Abba Macarius, distressed by my thoughts and the passions of the body. I said to him, ‘My father, tell me a word so I may live.’

     “Abba Macarius said to me, ‘Bind the ships’s cable to the mooring anvil and through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ the ship will pass through the diabolical waves and tumults of this murky sea and the deep darkness of this vain world.’

     “I said to him, ‘What is the ship? What is the ship’s cable? What is the mooring anvil?’

     “Abba Macarius said to me, ‘The ship is your heart. Guard it. The ship’s cable is your spirit; bind it to our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the mooring anvil that prevails over all the tumults and diabolical waves that fight against the saints. For it is not easy to say with each breath, “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me. I bless you, my Lord Jesus.” If you are distressed by people and the misfortunes of this world, say “My Lord Jesus, help me.” The fish swallows the waves and will be ensnared in them and will not know it. But when we persevere in the saving name of our Lord Jesus Christ, He, through the things He does for us, will ensnare the Devil by his nostrils [Job 40:26] and we will know our weakness, because our help is in our Lord Jesus Christ’” [Psalm 124:8].

St Macarius the Spiritbearer, Tim Vivian, pgs 117-18

Photo: An icon located in Syrian Monastery, Wadi al Natrun, of Abba Macarius the Great accompanied by a Cherub who, according to tradition, appeared to and encouraged him to begin the establishment of the monastic community in Scetis.

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