Appearing Good and Doing Evil

“Thus an evil person loves to give the appearance of doing things that seem to be good, yet he is still a shifting liar in his attachments to the world. For by means of a certain love for the things of the world and the flesh by which he is held in bondage to his own will, evil entices him until it becomes an enslaving bond, a heavy chain and weight that sucks him down and stifles him in a world of evil that does not allow him to rise up and return to God. The reason is that whatever anyone loves of the world oppresses his mind, holds him and does not allow him to rise up. For from this scale and discernment which tilts man toward evil, the whole of mankind hangs and is tested, including Christians living in cities or in mountains or in monasteries or in wild places or in the desert. The reason is that a person is seduced by his own desires and loves something that binds him that is not wholly centered on God.” St.  Macarius the Great, Homily 5, chapter 6 from The Fifty Spiritual Homilies

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