“Keep the humility of the Lord in your heart at all times”

by abbamoses

St. Mark the Ascetic

Saint Mark the Ascetic on overcoming anger:

This passion is especially strengthened by pride and, when it grows strong, becomes indestructible, until the diabolical tree of bitterness and anger and fury, its roots moistened with the foul water of pride, blooms and flowers and produces a great crop of transgressions. In this way the edifice built by the Evil One in the soul becomes indestructible as long as it has for its support and stay foundations made of pride. …

If, then, you want this house to be torn down and razed to the ground, keep the humility of the Lord in your heart at all times. Remember what he was and what he became for our sakes. …

All the punishments imposed upon humankind by divine decree for the sin of transgression — death, toil, hunger, thirst, and the like — he took upon himself, becoming what we are so we might become what He is.  The Word became Flesh so that flesh might become Word. …

So then, if you keep the remembrance of these things in your heart with unflagging desire and purpose, the passion of bitterness and anger and rage will not master you. When you undercut the foundations of the passion of arrogance by recalling Christ’s humility, the whole structure of iniquity, of rage and anger, easily and automatically collapses.

— from “A Letter to Nicholas”

This is a heavily edited excerpt from a longer passage that reviews all that the Son did for us in becoming man. “The Word became flesh so that flesh might become Word” is an especially potent restatement of St Athanasius’ “God became man so that man might become god.” Mark the Monk: Counsels on the Spiritual Life, pp. 69–73