The brothers said, ' Since all the creatures which God has made are holy, why were the Fathers in the habit of making the sign of the blessed Cross over such of them as they ate as food ? ' The old man said, ' Verily, all God's creatures are pure, through the Grace of Him that created them, yet, because sin obtained dominion, every one of them became polluted ; then came the advent of our Lord and abrogated sin, and righteousness obtained dominion, and everything became sanctified, whether it was in the heaven or on the earth. But because the blessed Fathers knew the harmful disposition of Satan, who even by means of such things as are used as food carries on a war to our injury, they sealed their foods with the holy sign of the Great Cross, that they might bring to naught all the crafts of the Calumniator. For one of the old men said, ' On one occasion, when I was lying down at night, I thirsted for water to drink. And there was near me a holy man who lived chastely, and he saw me take up a vessel of water to drink without having made over it the sign of the Cross. And he said to me, 'Wait, master, wait,' and he made the sign of the Cross over it, and straightway there fell from the vessel the Calumniator in the form of a flash of fire; and both he and I saw this, and we marvelled at the great power of the Redeemer, and at the wonderful sign of H is merit. ' Another version of the story reads: And one of the Fathers said, On one occasion I was lying down at night, and I thirsted for water to drink. And there was near me a certain widow, who led a chaste life, both when she was with her husband, and afterwards, and she said to me, ' Wait, master, wait, and she made the sign of the Holy Cross over the vessel of water, and straightway the Calumniator fell from the vessel in the form of a flash of fire; and both she and I saw it, and we marvelled at the great power of our Redeemer, and at the wonderful sign of His merit. These things were indeed spoken by that holy mouth which was remote from falsehood. Therefore we must necessarily do this (i.e., make the sign of the Cross over our food) for the protection of our life. For against this holy woman who did these things, the enemy waged war openly, according to what I have learned from a certain saint, a chosen man of God, who heard the matter from her own mouth, and he spake thus: The blessed woman spake to me, saying, One day I went to the house of God, and Satan drew nigh, and said to me, Why do you pray like a man, and say, Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost? And I said to him, If I am not to pray thus, how will I pray? And the blessed woman said, Satan said to me, Pray thus, and say, Glory be to you, O Mary, mother of Christ. Then I answered and said to him, [There are] ashes in your eyes, O Satan. Why should I forsake the Lord and adore the mother? And Satan disappeared. And the blessed man also said to me, This same old woman said to me: On another occasion I went to church according to custom, and I knelt down and prayed, and then the Enemy came and made blind mine eyes, and I could not see, and I called to one of the women, and she led me to my house. After three days Satan departed from before mine eyes, and he began to go away from before me, and then I said to him, There is something which I must make you do. Go you to the place where you did seize upon me; and we went to the church, both he and I, and I left him where he seized upon me. Then I went away a short distance, and when I turned and looked at him I saw that he was standing like a shadow; and I went on again, and then turned, and still I saw him. And I shut the door of the temple and went forth, and then I opened it again and went in, and I saw him still standing [there], and at that time his wiles ceased from me. Such were the great things which happened to that blessed old woman. For the monk must not boast himself over the man who lives in the world, for there are mighty men in the world; for if such qualities are found in Eve, how much greater ones should be found in the Adam which is redeemed by Adam?' One of the Fathers said to me, 'One night while I was sleeping, the Enemy came and smote me, and said to me, 'Get you into the world and cultivate righteousness, for why do you shut yourself up like a beast in caves?' And knowing the wickedness of the Enemy, who was looking at me with an evil eye, I made the sign of the Cross in his face, and he fled from me. Then he waited a few days, and came and smote me on the neck, and said to me mockingly, 'Now you are a righteous man, rise up, and get you into the world, that I may not destroy you'; and having prayed, and made the sign of the Cross over my face, he departed from me. And a little while afterwards he came again, and sat upon my neck; then I made myself bold, and stood up, and made the sign of the Cross, the emblem of merit, before him, and again he disappeared, for he was unable to resist me. For all these things took place, and happened in very truth, and we may therefore know and understand that there is no rule of life in which God so much rejoices, or which is so terrible to the devils, and to all evil spirits, as the rule of humility, and penitence of mind, and the subjection of the body, and remoteness from the things which are seen. Whosoever despises these things will fall into the mire of the world; and whosoever holds in contempt the good riches of the fear of God, will have his hope of the inheritance of the saints cut off, and of the delights of heaven, which never pass away and never end. May we all be held worthy of these through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, the True God, to Whom, with His Father, and the Holy Spirit, be glory, now, and always, and for ever and ever! Amen.''
Q: "What does one learn in the
Father Mina: "To have
an authentic sincere Love towards Christ"
Q: "What experience of God do we make here?"
Father Mina: "We make
the experience of the personal intimate friendship
with the person of the Lord Jesus-Christ... The
interior real lived sentiment of the intimacy with the
Lord: I Am with you."
Q: "Thank you"
Father Mina was
the first companion of Father Matta El-Maskine, one of
the first 7 hermits of the Saint Macarius Monastery. He
lives here in the manner of the first monks of the
lumière du désert