Be as one dead

Once St. Macarius sent a young monk to a cemetery to praise the dead. The monk did this, going to the cemetery and saying all sorts of complimentary things to the dead buried there. The next day, St. Macarius asked him to return to the cemetery, but this time to say bad things about the dead. So the young monk went to the cemetery and did this, saying all kinds of terrible things about them. Then St. Macarius asked him what response the dead had made. The young man replied, “They were silent to both praise and reproach.” “If you wish to be saved, be as one dead. Do not become angry when insulted, nor puffed up when praised.”

– St. Macarius the Great

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