Fifty Spiritual Homilies. Homily 23

The soul, which since the transgression is wild and in no subjection, roams in the desert of the world with the wild beasts, which are the spirits of wickedness, in sin withholding service. But when it hears the word of God, and believes, it is bridled by the Spirit, and puts away its wild ways and the fleshly mind, being guided by Christ its rider. Then it gets into distress, and the process of taming, and difficulty, that it may be proved, in order that by degrees it may be brought into subjection by the Spirit, the sin that is in it diminishing by degrees and disappearing. Thus the soul, putting on the breastplate of righteousness, and the helmet of salvation, and the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit, is taught to war against its enemies. Thus, being armed with the Spirit of the Lord, it contends against the spirits of wickedness, and quenches the fiery darts of the wicked one.

By Macarius of Egypt

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