Flavio Raposo

St Ephrem speaks on the first Commandment

This is the first Commandment, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and thy soul, and with thy might according as you are able. The sign that you love God, is this, that you love your fellow man; and if you hate your fellow, your hatred is towards God. ๐‘ญ๐’๐’“ ๐’Š๐’• ๐’Š๐’” ๐’ƒ๐’๐’‚๐’”๐’‘๐’‰๐’†๐’Ž๐’š ๐’Š๐’‡ ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’‘๐’“๐’‚๐’š ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’‡๐’๐’“๐’† ๐‘ฎ๐’๐’… ๐’˜๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’† ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’˜๐’“๐’‚๐’•๐’‰๐’‡๐’–๐’. ๐‘ญ๐’๐’“ ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’‰๐’†๐’‚๐’“๐’• ๐’‚๐’๐’”๐’ ๐’„๐’๐’๐’—๐’Š๐’„๐’•๐’” ๐’š๐’๐’–, ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’Š๐’ ๐’—๐’‚๐’Š๐’ ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’Ž๐’–๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’‘๐’๐’š ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’…๐’”: ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’„๐’๐’๐’”๐’„๐’Š๐’†๐’๐’„๐’† ๐’“๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’‰๐’•๐’๐’š ๐’‹๐’–๐’…๐’ˆ๐’†๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’• ๐’Š๐’ ๐’š๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’‘๐’“๐’‚๐’š๐’†๐’“๐’” ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’‘๐’“๐’๐’‡๐’Š๐’• ๐’๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ. Christ as He hung on the height of the tree, interceded for His murderers; and you (who are) dust, son of the clay, rage fills you at its will. You keep anger against your brother; and do you yet dare to pray? Even he that stands on your side, though he is not a neighbor to your sins, the taint of iniquity reaches unto him, and his petition is not heard. Leave off rage and then pray; and unless you would further provoke, restrain anger and then you shall offer supplications. And so, the other will not encounter you in fury, banish rage from that body, because it is held by lusts.

You have a spiritual nature; the soul is the image of the Creator; honor the image of God, by being in agreement with all men. Remember death, and be not angry, that your peace be not of constraint. If your life remains to you, cleanse your soul from wrath; for if it should go to Sheol with time, your road will be straight to Gehenna. Keep not anger in your heart; hold not fury in your soul; you hast not power over your soul, save to do that which is good. You have been bought with the blood of God; you have been redeemed by the passion of Christ; for your sake He suffered death, that you might die to your sins. His face endured spitting, that you might not shrink from scorn. Vinegar and gall, did He drink, that you might be set apart from wrath. He received stripes on His body, that you might not fear suffering. If you have been in truth His servant, fear your holy Lord; if you have been His true disciple, walk in your masterโ€™s footsteps. Endure scorn from your brother, that you may be the companion of Christ. Display not anger against man, that you be not set apart from your Redeemer.

Today is he feast day of St Ephrem, the Syrian, a doctor of the Church