Once upon a time there was a man who was alive.

Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
St. Cuthbert and Disciples in a Boat


St. Mark the Monk

I recently became aware of this fifth century saint through a quotation from him in a book on St. Maximus. There is evidently not much known for certain about his life. He combated in particular a heresy known as Messalianism, which said that baptismal grace was not completely adequate for our needs. It is said that he wrote numerous works- up to two hundred. Most of his works have not been translated from the Greek, so far as I know, but I was able to find this one: On Those Who Think They Are Made Righteous By Works. Below are some selections:

20. If ‘Christ died on our account in accordance with the Scriptures’ (Rm 5:8; 1Co15:3), and we do not ‘live for ourselves’, but ‘for Him who died and rose’ on ouraccount (2Co 5:15), it is clear that we are debtors to Christ to serve Him till our death. How then can we regard sonship as something which is our due?

21. Christ is Master by virtue of His own essence and Master by virtue of His incarnate life. For He creates man from nothing, and through His own Blood redeems himwhen dead in sin; and to those who believe in Him He has given His grace.

22. When Scripture says ‘He will reward every man according to his works’ (Mt 16:27),do not imagine that works in themselves merit either hell or the kingdom. On the contrary, Christ rewards each man according to whether his works are done with faith or without faith in Himself; and He is not a dealer bound by contract, but God our Creator and Redeemer.

36. Whatever we do without prayer and without hope in God turns out afterwards to be harmful and defective.

48. The sign of sincere love is to forgive wrongs done to us. It was with such love that the Lord loved the world.

61. Grace has been given mystically to those who have been baptized into Christ; and it becomes active within them to the extent that they actively observe thecommandments. Grace never ceases to help us secretly; but to do good– as far as lies in our power– depends on us.

62. Initially grace arouses the conscience in a divine manner. That is how even sinners have come to repent and so to conform to God’s will.

92. Everyone baptized in the orthodox manner has received mystically the fullness of grace; but he becomes conscious of this grace only to the extent that he actively observes the commandments.

111. Humility consists, not in condemning our conscience, but in recognizing God’s grace and compassion.