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A Homily on Mani's Letter to Menoch.




THE LETTER TO MENOCH

 

I Manes the apostle of Jesus Christ to Menoch his daughter: May grace and well-being be granted to you by our god, who is in reality the true god, and may he himself illuminate your mind, and reveal his righteousness to you because you are the fruit of a divine lineage.

 

 … Declare, admit those by whom also you have been made as spotless as you are, by recognising how you were before, and from what kind of souls you have sprung; a kind blended from all substances and savours and attaching to different appearances.

For just as souls are begotten from souls, so the creation of the body derives from the nature of the body.

 

Therefore, what is born of the flesh is flesh; and what of the spirit, is spirit; however, by ‘the spirit’ understand ‘the soul’, then the soul is born of the soul, and the flesh of flesh.

 So just as God, is the originator of souls, so the devil is the originator of bodies through lust; the devil’s snare by means of the lust of a woman, whence the devil lies in wait, he catches not souls but bodies, either by sight, or by touch, or by hearing, or by smell, or by taste.

 

In short, abolish the root of this evil stock and gaze at once on your own spiritual self.

For, says the scripture, the root of all evils is lust.

Wherefore, see how foolish are they who say that his creative act was established by the good God, which act they are sure is begotten of the spirit of lust.

Yet, they unite with unwilling heart, and they act with hidden shames, while they hate the light so that their works may not be made manifest.

 

For the sake of which the apostle says (Rom. 9:16): ‘That it may be understood, this work is not of a willing man.’ For if we perform the good, it is not of the flesh; because the deeds of the flesh are plain to see, which are fornication etc., if we do evil, it is not of the soul; because the fruit of the spirit is peace, joy (Gal. 5:19 and 22).

 

Finally, also the apostle clamours to the Romans (7:19); the good which I wish, I do not do; but I work at the evil which I dread.

You see the voice of the stubborn soul, defending the freedom of the soul against lust.

For he grieves because sin, the devil, is working every lust against him.

 

The authority of the law proclaims his wickedness, when it censures all his practices, which the flesh admires and praises; for every bitterness of lust is sweet to the soul, through it the soul is nourished and stirred to activity.

 

In short, the soul of the man who restrains himself from all practice of lust is wakeful, is enriched and grows; but by the practice of lust, it is wont to diminish …

It is worth mentioning because the first soul, which sprang from the God of Light, received that creation of the body that it might control it with its own restraint. The command came, sin which appeared to have been a prisoner, revived; the devil found his moments, led astray into it (i.e. The soul) the disposition of lust and by means of it he ruined it.

The law indeed is pure, but pure for the pure (soul), and God’s command is both just and good, but for the just and good (soul).

 

Yet, these are men who have dared to say that this lust is a good thing in opposition to the evangelical and apostolic books, which they keep reading in vain; you may see how their holy men at one time have slept with their daughters, at other times have had intercourse with several concubines and wives as well.

 

And the apostles do not see this: what alliance is there for light and darkness, for the faithful and the faithless, for Christ and Babel?

 

They go astray, gathered in the gloom of lust, whose poison they so enjoy, that, seized with madness; when they perform this act, they think it has been permitted by God as if they did not know that the apostle said; what things are done by them in the dark, it is shameful to speak indeed …

 

Come, you defender of lust, with frank speech relate its fruits and its works.

Behold, in opposition to it, I do not fear the light, which it trembles and hates.

For everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light lest his works be manifest.

 

Do you see that lust is the source of evil, through which wretched souls are the slaves to desire, not of their own accord? Because this is the only thing which we do with an unwilling heart?

 

In short, every sin is outside the body because it is active, but he who fornicates, sins against his own body.


For every sin, before it is committed, does not exist; and after the deed, only the memory of its doing remains, not the image itself; but the evil of lust because it is natural, exists before it is committed; when it takes place, it is increased; and after the deed it is seen and endures.

If sin is not natural, why are infants baptised, who are agreed to have done no evil of themselves?

 

Let those answers, whom I have to question with these words – if every evil is committed by an act; then before anyone does evil, why does he receive the purification of water, when he has done no evil of his own accord?

 

Or, if he has not yet done it, must he also be purified?

 

Is it permitted that they declare the springing forth of evil lineage by nature, these wicked men themselves, whom madness does not allow to understand either what are they saying, or what are they asserting as true?





Beloved brothers and sisters in the light of the True God, today we gather to reflect upon the divine wisdom contained within the letter from our beloved Prophet Mani to his daughter, Menoch.


May the true understanding of the universe and the conflict between the forces of light and darkness inspire us to seek enlightenment and transcend our earthly existence.


In his letter, Mani imparts his divine revelation, teaching us that the universe is in eternal conflict between the forces of good and evil.


The light, emanating from the True God, represents all that is good, while the darkness is the realm of the demonic forces. Mani calls upon us to acknowledge this struggle within ourselves and the world around us, and to strive to overcome the darkness within us by embracing the light of the True God.


Mani reminds us of the crucial role of the spiritual elect, who have been chosen by the True God to spread the divine message of salvation and deliverance from the darkness. As the chosen ones, it is our duty to lead others towards the path of righteousness and enlightenment.


Mani urges us to be steadfast in our faith and to resist the temptations of the darkness, for only through our unwavering commitment to the light can we hope to achieve salvation.

Furthermore, Mani emphasizes the importance of living a life of purity and righteousness.


He warns us of the treacherous allure of the material world, which seeks to ensnare us and lead us away from the true path. Instead, Mani urges us to focus on spiritual growth and to lead a life of self-discipline and asceticism.


By detaching ourselves from the material world, we can transcend the limitations of our earthly existence and attain a state of spiritual awakening.


Mani exhorts us to cultivate our inner light, to nurture the divine spark within us, and to channel the light of the True God.


Through prayer, meditation, and contemplation, we can commune with the divine and align ourselves with the celestial realms. By attuning ourselves to the divine light, we can gain a more profound understanding of the universe and our place within it.


In conclusion, Mani’s letter to Menoch serves as a timeless reminder of the eternal struggle between the forces of light and darkness, and the imperative of aligning ourselves with the light of the True God. As the chosen ones, it is our duty to spread the divine message, to lead others towards enlightenment, and to resist the temptations of the material world.


By cultivating our inner light and living a life of purity and righteousness, we can transcend our earthly existence and attain spiritual awakening. May we heed Mani’s timeless wisdom and strive towards the ultimate goal of achieving salvation and deliverance from the darkness.


Let us embrace the light and become beacons of divine truth and righteousness in a world shrouded in darkness. Amen.

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Valentinus 777
Valentinus 777
Dec 11, 2023

Reminded of the quote from the Gospel of Thomas: "29 Jesus said: If the flesh came into existence because of the spirit, it is a marvel. But if the spirit (came into existence) because of the body, it is a marvel of marvels. But as for me, I wonder at this, how this great wealth made its home in this poverty."

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