Dying We Live

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it (Luke 9:24).

The above quote is perhaps the most counter-intuitive thing ever said by Christ – as far as general human experience goes. We do not want to lose our lives – despite the presence of suicides (an entirely different discussion). The instinct for self-preservation is among the deepest drives in the human psyche. It is also, to a large extent, among the greatest problems of our disordered existence. Within the stories of the Desert Fathers we find examples of those who have followed Christ’s commandment and offered insight to others:

A brother came to see Abba Macarius the Egyptian, and said to him, “Abba, give me a word, that I may be saved.” So the old man said, “Go to the cemetery and abuse the dead.” The brother went there, abused them and threw stones at them; then he returned and told the old man about it. The latter said to him, “Didn’t they say anything to you?” He replied, “No.” The old man said, “Go back tomorrow and praise them.” So the brother went away and praised them, calling them, “Apostles, saints, and righteous men.” He returned to the old man who said to him, “Did they not answer you?” The brother said, “No.” The old man said to him, “You know how you insulted them and they did not reply, and how you praised them and they did not speak; so you too, if you wish to be saved, must do the same and become a dead man. Like the dead, take no account of either the scorn of men or their praises, and you can be saved.”

And this:

Abbot Moses said: A man ought to be like a dead man with his companions, for to die to one’s friend is to cease to judge him in anything.

Such dying to “self” is difficult in the extreme. It is helpful to know that the “self” to which we are asked to die is not, in fact, our true self, but the illusion created by our fears, opinions, judgments and other such things. As St. Paul would say:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20).

The “self” which is crucified with Christ is the “I” who no longer lives. And the “I” which now lives is the true self, the “me” who lives by virtue of relation with Christ.

Often the difficulty with all this is that we have almost no experience or confidence in that “true self.” Thus our Christian journey consists in the constant effort and failure to reform the “self who no longer lives.” The truth is that it is an identity which never had true existence. The writings of the fathers, particularly those writings on asceticism and prayer of the heart, are full of discussion and teaching on this distinction and the spiritual battle that it entails.

In contemporary writings, I have found some thoughts by Archimandrite Meletios Webber to be most helpful. Of the ego, or false self, he states:

In order to be right about anything, the mind [the central organ of the false self] has the need to find someone or something that is wrong. In a sense, the mind is always looking for an enemy (the person who is “wrong”), since without an enemy, the mind is not quite sure of its own identity. When it has an enemy, it is able to be more confident about itself. Since the mind also continually seeks for certainty, which is a by-product of the desire to be right, the process of finding and defining enemies is an ongoing struggle for survival. Declaring enemies is, for the mind, not an unfortunate character flaw, but an essential and necessary task.

Unfortunately, being right is not what people really need, even though a great deal of their lives may be taken up in its pursuit. Defense of the ego is almost always a matter of trying to be right. Interestingly enough, Jesus never once suggested to His disciples that they be right. What He did demand is that they be righteous. In listening to His words we find that we spend almost all our energy in the wrong direction, since we generally pursue being right with every ounce of our being, but leave being good to the weak and the naive.

People fight wars, commit genocide, and deprive others of basic human civil liberties, all in the name of being right. There is little doubt that if a further nuclear war ever takes place, it will be because the person pushing the button believes himself to be right. About something…..

The heart [the primary organ of the true self] is quiet rather than noisy, intuitive rather than deductive, lives entirely in the present, and is, at every moment, accepting of the reality God gives in that moment. Moreover, the heart does not seek to distance or dominate anything or anyone by labeling. Rather, it begins with an awareness of its relationship with the rest of creation (and everything and everyone in it), accepting rather than rejecting, finding similarity rather than alienation and likeness rather than difference. It knows no fear, experiences no desire, and never finds the need to defend or justify itself. Unlike the mind, the heart never seeks to impose itself. It is patient and undemanding. Little wonder, then, that the mind, always impatient and very demanding, manages to dominate it so thoroughly.

Quotes are from Archimandrite Meletios’ Bread and Water, Wine and Oil.

+++

 This draws out some of the parameters of our daily struggle. The true self is not a product of our own efforts – we cannot re-create ourselves. Nevertheless, we can be honest and recognize the nature of our noisy minds, our anxieties and fears, our regrets. Domination and desire, justification and defense are all part of the life of the false self – who is passing away.

These are all matters that, by God’s grace, we can resist and can bring into the light of confession and God’s compassion. In the same manner, by God’s grace, we can struggle to be quiet and to live in the present moment (without anxiety or regret). We can renounce our need to dominate and justify ourselves.

These are the difficult daily tasks of our struggle. We should not think that the work of the false self (or selves) will ever accomplish the work of the Kingdom. That glory is the gift of God which we may enter with thanksgiving. God help us.

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41 Responses to “Dying We Live”

  1. Boris Says:

    This has the ring of deep truth. Thank you Father, most helpful.

  2. Yannis Says:

    Great post F. Stephen.

    In fact, in a way you could post only this post everytime and still have a great blog. The rest is kind of secondary details.

    What’s with the picture, have you been watching Gladiator? ; )

    (just joking of course, you probably mean the “If the grain falls/does not fall in the earth…” from John, same bit that’s also in the Karamazov bross to denote the death of the ego that bring fruit etc).

  3. Russ Mangiapane Says:

    WOW!

  4. Aunt Melanie Says:

    This might be drifting a little–but it immediately came to my mind–and I suspect some people will disagree with or reject it. Regarding dying to the self, there are some people who hardly have a ‘self.’ On the other side of self-preservation and/or those with a strong ‘ego,’ are the co-dependents of the world–mostly women. Yes, a co-dependent personality is also a false self, but it seems very different from the personality that would dominate and justify. Co-dependents live for the other (in a sick way) and try to control the uncontrolable dysfunction of the other’s personality or lifestyle.

    I am wondering if there should be some difference in the way “dying to the self” is presented to women. And again–please excuse me for drifting–even people with a death wish or who are suicidal do not really want to lose their lives: they just want to get out of an unbearable situation (sexual abuse, etc.).

    There is no “defense of the ego” for some people. They are already beaten down and need to be lifted up. I wonder if ‘losing one’s life for Christ’s sake’ has other interpretations or applications for different types of personalities, temperaments, sins.

    But, I know this was not quite the focus of today’s posting. I enjoyed the message and learned from it. There is a lot of meaningful material which I did not comment on.

  5. Yannis Says:

    All personality types and temperaments revolve inevitably around the ego. The ego is expressed through the means and temperament of each personality. Helplessness, clinging to others and depression are also ego expressions – its not just the dominating strong types that have it.

    Some ego expressions are very subtle.
    For example, Peter refusing Christ washing his feet is a very subtle but very strong actually ego. Hence why Christ says to him “if you refuse you have nothing to do with me henceforth”.
    Some people think that they “do lots” for their elderly parents, when in reality they would be better off allowing their parents doing what they want to please them (their children) – parents are more happy this way. Wanting to “please them” many children end up pleasing in fact themselves (that they are good children) and not their parents. Externally they are doing something but internally their actions are directed to themselves not to the others they are meant to serve.

    Many such ego subtleties pass as dignity or good effort, but in reality they are just ego and more ego – all the effort and the dignity is directed according to one’s ego principles and it never wishes to put others first or face what it fears most, such as loss of face or good looks or clever brains or good health or much wealth or a clingto husband or annhihilation (death).

    Its because of this power and layer upon layer of subtlety that monastics go to such extents in doing things that are dull and repetitive and unexciting and basically unimportant for years and years in order to bring it out and subdue it.

    Dying to the self means primarily even mindedness in external conditions (favorable and disfavorable) and thinking of the others first. It also means not being afraid to look a fool and be called a fool.

    People who overcling to others or are chronically helpless and depressed are often deep down just too proud to get over their depression, as doing it means precisely the death to their egoself and the depression is an indication of resistance to it.

    Of course depressed people need help and compassion, but help and compassion from others alone cannot ultimately overcome a (hidden) pride related depression (although they may make conditions more favorable for the overcoming to happen).

    Thinking less of one’s self and one’s own “problems” only can.

    Its something each of us has to strive do with the help of God on his own and there is no formula or external factor/aid to substitute this.

  6. Karen Says:

    Aunt Melanie, as a recovering codependent “pleaser” type, I appreciate your question. It’s a very good one. Yannis is quite correct, however. Even this apparently submissive expression of the “false self” is another attempt to validate and satisfy the demands of the ego (and a more hidden attempt out of fear to manipulate the other, since more direct approaches do not work). Maybe it would be helpful to understand that the “false self” is that in us which is oriented in dependence upon something other than God. Even the codependent is also depending on herself and her own performance in a rather profound way to protect her own sense of personal security and identity as a worthwhile person. Codependents are also very much invested in maintaining a certain image of themselves and convincing others it is the reality as well. I am speaking here, of course, from profound personal experience!😛

  7. Aunt Melanie Says:

    Yannis and Karen: thank you so much for your time and effort. I’m still reading and studying your comments. Just wanted to say thanks.

  8. Yannis Says:

    You’re welcome Aunt Melanie.

  9. Canadian Says:

    I believe Russ in his comment has it about right.
    WOW!
    The Meletios quote is profoundly cutting!

  10. Daria Says:

    Thank you for yet another wonderful post, Father. I really do hope you keep writing in this blog, as you cannot imagine how beneficial it is to us.

    Your opening about the counter-intuitive quote from Christ, reminds me of what Fr Thomas Hopko likes to say: “Orthodoxy is Paradoxy”. If we want to be first, we are called to be last. If we want to rule, we have to serve. If we want to be affirmed, we have to deny ourselves. If we want to be joyful, we have to suffer. If we want to live, we have to die.

  11. Russ Mangiapane Says:

    WOW again! I had to re-read this blog…especially the quote from Archimandrite Meletios where the contrast between the mind and the heart is profoundly stated. I am all too familiar with the description of the mind, the central organ of the false self. It is the description of the primary organ of the true self that seems so foreign to me.

    I’m not sure where to begin to find my true self except to pray “Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. Lord, save me from my false self!”

  12. Canadian Says:

    Father,
    If the true self is located in the heart, yet as the scripture says: the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it?….then it would seem impossible to find life at all. As if it’s not enough to see past the deceptions of the false self, then we have to deal with the uncertainties of even the true self. Good thing that with God all things are possible and as you said: “The true self is not a product of our own efforts – we cannot re-create ourselves.”

  13. Marie Says:

    Yannis,

    Forgive… please be careful what you say, “People who overcling to others or are chronically helpless and depressed are often deep down just too proud to get over their depression, as doing it means precisely the death to their egoself and the depression is an indication of resistance to it.”

    Depression is debilitating, real, and serious. It is this type of mainstream judgment and ignorance to the devastating, insidious, and real health concerns of mental illness that drive individuals with clinical (and other mental illnesses) into shame and hiding. Where is the love and compassion in this, all too often, response? We must educate ourselves in order to help our brothers and sisters to overcome our “ego”.

    Blessings

  14. Yannis Says:

    Hello Marie,
    i am well aware that there are types of depression that are based on other causes. Hence i wrote:
    “but help and compassion from others alone cannot ultimately overcome a (hidden) pride related depression “, emphasizing that its for that type of depression that the ego is the main cause and holding back factor, but that there are also other types that are not ego based (traumatic experiences readily come to mind).

    I also wrote:”although they (meaning help and compassion towards the depressed) may make conditions more favorable for the overcoming to happen”, as i know well that both are necessary and not to be frowned upon. Depression requires aid and somewhere/one to fall back to, whether ego based or due to a traumatic experience.

    However the crucial steps have to come from within ourselves in my experience. Not so much as acts of strong will, but as acts of acceptance.

    Most of all, it might relieve you to know that depression is no stranger to me personally, and that i seldom have the courage to write for things of this sort that i haven’t experienced first hand.

    Regards

  15. Bill Says:

    Question…

    How do the comments about the heart that seem very positive work with what you’ve said previously about all the evil or dragons in the heart and the pure hearted seeing God?

    From this, it sounds like we should trust the heart…but should we?

  16. Margaret Says:

    Thank you, Fr. Stephen! I so needed to read this especially:

    “Often the difficulty with all this is that we have almost no experience or confidence in that “true self.” Thus our Christian journey consists in the constant effort and failure to reform the “self who no longer lives.” The truth is that it is an identity which never had true existence. The writings of the fathers, particularly those writings on asceticism and prayer of the heart, are full of discussion and teaching on this distinction and the spiritual battle that it entails.”

    Also thank you for recommending Meletios Webber’s book. It has been so beneficial to read this in the past and it is time for me to take a look again. I will also be pursuing the writings of the fathers on asceticism and prayer of the heart as you mention here.

  17. MichaelPatrick Says:

    Aunt Marie and Yannis, I was moved by your comments regarding depression and recall some comments Fr. Hopko made in a talk. In sum, he said that sin’s damage can be generational, not meaning only by “nurture” or parental influence; the damage can be congenital or even genetic. I believe some people are sin-broken at such a deep level that they may never be able to conquer it in this life. In his mercy if they can still cry out that is enough to be joined to Christ and be saved. Others, too deep in a clinical depression to even care, are in desperate need of others to patiently hold on to them. Everyone disabled can be saved by the prayers of others. I don’t think God cares much about how people became too broken to help themselves; He will save them by any means possible.

  18. Matthew Says:

    In reading this entry—and the comments that have ensured—I thought I’d let others know of a group of resources that have been particularly helpful to me in recognizing and facing my “false self”: namely, the materials of the Arbinger Institute.

    Their popular, narrative-style books Leadership and Self-Deception and Anatomy of Peace are great places to start. They also offer a course called “The Choice,” which walks couples and coworkers through recognizing the fundamental choice we all have between being loving (finding our life by losing it) vs. being self-protective (and thereby alienating ourselves and others).

    The Arbinger Institute’s books and “The Choice” were instrumental in my own journey to Orthodoxy; I highly recommend them.

  19. mike Says:

    …Aunt Melanie said: “I wonder if ‘losing one’s life for Christ’s sake’ has other interpretations or applications for different types of personalities, temperaments, sins” …..In my experience and that of countless others it Does…Im learning however that it is pointless to even attempt an explanation..much less a conversation with the un-initiated ..if we really want to toss this around lets discuss the parallels between co-dependency and the teaching of unquestioning Submission(as taught by ‘the church’…

  20. Aunt Melanie Says:

    Michael Patrick: You make some good points. I have heard that Orthodoxy has its own psychology and anthropology, but I do not know what that is or where to find information about it. Fr. Hopko seems to have grasped something. Personally, I do not reject Western psychology or psychotherapy–I do not agree with all of it–but I do not totally reject it. Maybe what we need are some well-trained Orhtodox psychotherapists who are knowledgeable in both theology and psychology. I think we have to be very careful how we approach depressed people, for example, because the wrong message–or if the message is heard wrongly–will only darken their depression even worse.

    Mike: regarding co-dependency and submission, there has been some good Protestant (evangelical) discussion on the real meaning of submission. I can’t remember where–if I find it, I will definitely let you know.

  21. Rd Andrew of Homer, AK Says:

    Aunt Melanie and all,
    I have been a License and Marriage and Family therapist, have done extensive emergency mental services for close to 30 years. I am also a Reader in my local Orthodox church. Orthodoxy for me has pulled together my psychological training with my Christian beliefs. I am coming to understand the notion that the basis of all our disorders is our fallen nature. The treatment for our afflictions starts and ends with a change of heart, or putting off the fallen self and discovering the true self as Fr Stephen describes above. But treatment certainly can include medication and good psychotherapy, as well as participating in the sacraments. I am reading a good book by an Orthodox therapist that you might find interesting, and help bridge the gap between secular psychotherapy and Orthodox theology. The book is: “When Hearts Become Flame” by Stephen Muse PhD. Dr. Muse is a convert and former protestant minister. He is also a clinical psychologist, and a member of Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology, and Religion (OCAMPR). In this book he fleshes out the connections and differences with Orthodoxy more thoroughly. It is very readable, it avoids technical jargon, and I highly recommend it.

  22. mike Says:

    ..”The treatment for our afflictions starts and ends with a change of heart”…..if this is true then * true* christians should’nt have ANY psychological disorders..which is absurd if you happen to know any…this reminds me of my pentecostal days when we threw the “in the name of Jesus” catchall at any and every thing that we couldnt explain or felt threatened by….it’s interesting that some feel the need for a “christianised” psychology as compared to what? an “unchristian” psychology??…..by comparison that would be like differentiating secular water from christian water….

  23. Aunt Melanie Says:

    Rd Andrew: thanks for the recommendation; I am creating a summer reading list and I will add Muse’s book to it.

    I can agree that all disorders (including physical) come from our fallen nature: it is just regarding cure, healing, getting well, etc., where I think some differences in definitions of and approachs to any disorder occur.

    If we go to doctors for medical problems and for surgery, why not go to psychotherapists for mental problems?! If I needed hip surgery, I would not care if my surgeon was Christian or Buddhist or aetheist–I only want him/her to be the best surgeon I can find.

  24. mike Says:

    …..im sorry for the abrasiveness of my comments..they are not intended as a personal assault andrew..what i believe i believe strongly and i often express it poorly/over-zealously…i sometimes fear im turning into one of those old grouchy “dry” drunks that we all know….and love.

  25. Rd Andrew, Homer, AK Says:

    Mike,
    I too ask forgiveness for not being clear. I apparently set up a polarity which was not my intent. I get overly excited at times at the richness and depth of understanding of who I am/we are that Orthodoxy offers, and how wonderfully it has impacted my work with my clients. I think the mind/heart of any therapist is important in that it shapes the goals, and at times, the outcome of the “healing” work done with clients. I also do better in a dialog than in than in a situation where my ego gets in the way by trying to make me sound sound clever. Thanks for your feedback. May you have a blessed Lenten and Paschal season!

  26. MichaelPatrick Says:

    Bill, I can’t answer for Fr. Stephen but, if you don’t mind, I’d like to address your question by offering some thoughts about Fr. Webber’s anthropological insight:

    You wrote, “How do the comments about the heart that seem very positive work with what you’ve said previously about all the evil or dragons in the heart and the pure hearted seeing God? From this, it sounds like we should trust the heart…but should we?”

    I’ve read a few of Melitios Webber’s books and was privileged to attend a 1/2 day seminar he taught on this subject. I don’t think he’s saying we should trust the heart, he is saying we can’t trust the mind and certainly not as the place where we can find our true self. I’m sure he’d agree that sin penetrates hearts and minds, but he’s saying something about we are made, about the proper role of our minds and our hearts.

    The mind is designed to distinguish things by making comparisons. When it is allowed the arrogance to think it is our whole person it then goes about distinguishing us from others by making comparisons. This kind of mental activity is not motivated by love and destructive.

    The heart does not operate this way. It is not busy finding differences and, more to the point, it is the proper place to find ourselves because it is where we find God. We are God’s temple and the heart should be a holy of holies, a mercy seat, a place of his presence. We can find demons there, yes, but Christ’s illumination drives them out, God there embraces us, gives us life and even love for others. The heart is where the mind, too, must be brought and made captive. The heart is our constitutional center.

    The mind is not so necessary. Mentally incapable persons still have hearts and can, therefore, be filled with the grace of God’s uncreated glory. He can restore them to fullness and will surely do so when at last they are blessed with a new, glorified body.

  27. Rick Says:

    “…that saved a wretch like me…”

    If this post weren’t true, I wouldn’t nearly lose it everytime the person calls her-self a wretch in that song.

    Thank you, Father.

  28. fatherstephen Says:

    It is certainly true that the heart can produce both good and evil.

    The primary difference between Orthodox anthropology and modern psychotherapy can be found in their goals and purposes. Modern psychotherapy has a good of making a person happy and well-adjusted, able, at least, to negotiate the difficulties of life. The goal of all of Orthodoxy is union with Christ. The heart is much harder to describe than many think. I have met very good hearts in the lives of people who were living through a very tormented psychological problem. I think it is possible to die with a God-filled, even transformed heart, while still suffering from a variety of afflictions, including mental ones. They are important (especially if it’s happening to you) but they are not necessarily cosmic in their importance. The heart is indeed important within the Kingdom. That a heart may be spiritually enlarged even while suffering from a mental disorder is simply the mercy of God (to me). They are not unconnected, but they are not one and the same.

    The inner landscape is far more complex than modern psychology describes. It is useful. I refer people to psychologists as readily as I would someone with cancer to an M.D.

    But I am neither psychologist or an M.D. I am a priest and my task is facilitating the reconciliation of persons with God through Christ. I do that regardless of their mental state or capacities.

    I do not mean to draw too great a distinction between spirituality and psychology, except to say that they are not the same thing. A healthy mind is a good thing, but it is not everything. One of my favorite passages in literature is of the character Marmaladov, the incorrigible drunk in Crime and Punishment. His alcoholism is as serious as I’ve ever seen described. And yet there is this scene:

    …”And He will judge and will forgive all, the good and the evil, the wise and the meek…And when He has done with all of them, then He will summon us, ‘You too come forth,’ He will say, ‘Come forth, ye drunkards, come forth, ye weak ones, come forth, ye children of shame!’ And we shall all come forth without shame and shall stand before Him. And He will say unto us, ‘Ye are swine, made in the image of the Beast and with his mark; but come ye also!’ And the wise ones and those of understanding will say, ‘O Lord, why dost Thou receive these men?’ And He will say,’This is why I receive them, O ye wise, this is why I receive them, O ye of understanding, that not one of them believed himself to be worthy of this.’ And He will hold out His hands to us and we shall fall down before Him…and we shall weep…and we shall understand all things! Then we shall understand all!…and all will understand, Katerina Ivanovna even…she will understand…Lord, Thy kingdom come!” And he sank down on the bench exhausted and helpless, looking at no one, apparently oblivious of his surroundings and plunged in deep thought. His words had created a certain impression; there was a moment of silence; but soon laughter and oaths were heard again.

    I have known many drunks with truly great hearts (not always – but nevertheless). There is a great mystery here. I suggest to readers that you glean what is useful but do not try to make all the pieces fit. The puzzles are not quite the same.

  29. mike Says:

    ………..thank you so much Father Stephen….you truly are a man of God

  30. fatherstephen Says:

    Mike, the Marmaladov scene always gives me hope.

  31. Aunt Melanie Says:

    “They are important (especially if it’s happening to you) but they are not necessarily cosmic in their importance.” Okay, it’s starting to make sense….

  32. fatherstephen Says:

    Aunt Melanie,
    I’m glad my comments are of health. I have pastored many people over the years with varying sorts of mental disorders, some quite painful. Often, it is a confidence that their mental affliction does not define them or their relationship with the good God, that helps them make it through another day. It is a faith I admire deeply – not unlike Abraham’s. “Hoping against hope.” It can be a very deep faith indeed. I know this to be true…but I’ll not go further.

  33. Randi Says:

    Fr. Stephen,
    I have a young adult daughter with OCD and migraines who struggles as a college student and seems to be walking away from the faith. How can I help her?

  34. Prudence True Says:

    Love this!

    And with God’s grace and God’s grace and God’s grace . . . this daily counter-intuitive struggle will lead me closer to,

    God’s grace.

  35. fatherstephen Says:

    Somehow it makes me think that salvation is by grace. What could we ever do without it?

  36. Yannis Says:

    We don’t have the power of gracing ourselves of course, but we do have the power to turn our hearts towards it’s Source or away from It, which is a vital prerequisite in receiving grace steadily (rather than a few drops here and there that fall compassionately from Heaven) in the vast majority of cases.

    One who walks away from the sun, has shadows in front of him and he thus is scared of them. One who walks steadily towards the sun has shadows behind him and so is unconcerned of them.

    The turning is a very tangible, although very hard, at the same time, goal. It has a mystery and dynamics of its own and man is better off working on it (much) more than talking about doctrinal points and other such exoteric(external) aspects.

    In a sense its all that matters and what religion is about.

  37. Prudence True Says:

    Yannis,

    You are a wise soul. I agree with you . . . it’s about turning your heart toward the Light and a few drops will become much more.

  38. Yannis Says:

    Prudence,
    thanks for the credit, but if i learned anything at all is because i am actually not a wise soul : )

    Take Care

  39. JB Says:

    Thank you Fr Stephen. My wife are about to start attending an OCA parish in Texas in late May, and we have had the Bread and Wine, Water and Oil book for months. Unfortunately we have only made it 12 pp. into the book, but this quote encourages me to read it with her when we get adjusted to Orthodox Liturgy.

  40. service apartments in goa Says:

    Father, thank you. I am an evangelical Christian but I found your article to be helpful. It’s not easy to die to self. The example you used of Abba Macarius the Egyptian is something that I will need to remember for as long as I live.

  41. motivation Says:

    motivation…

    […]Dying We Live « Glory to God for All Things[…]…

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