Fifty Spiritual Homilies. Homily 21

When man transgressed the commandment, and was exiled from Paradise, he was bound down in two ways and with two different chains. One was in this life, in the affairs of this life, and in the love of the world, that is to say, the love of fleshly pleasures and lusts, of wealth, and glory, and possessions, of wife and children, of kinsfolk, of country, of particular places, of clothes, and of all other things of sense, from which the word of God bids him be loosed by his own free choice—since what binds every man to the things of sense is his own consent—in order that, having loosed and emancipated himself from all these, he may be able to master the commandment perfectly. But besides this, in the hidden region, the soul is hedged and hemmed and walled round, and bound with chains of darkness by the spirits of wickedness, unable to love the Lord as it would, or to believe as it would, or to pray as it would. On all sides, both in things manifest and in things hidden, contrariety has come down to us from the transgression of the first man.

By Macarius of Egypt

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