TUESDAY THE TWELFTH OF JUNE, 2018
O Lord and master of my life, grant me not a spirit of sloth, meddling, love of power, and idle talk, but give to me, your servant, a spirit of sober-mindedness, humility, patience, and love. Yes, O Lord and king, grant me to see my own faults and not to judge my brother, since you are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen.
( Ephrem of Edessa )
Receive, O Lord, in Heaven above our prayers and supplications pure;
give us a heart all full of love and steady courage to endure.
Thy holy name our mouths confess, our tongues are harps to praise your grace;
forgive our sins and wickedness, who in this vigil seek your face.
Let not our song become a sigh, a wail of anguish and despair;
in lovingkindness, Lord most high, receive tonight our evening prayer.
O raise us in that day, that we may sing, where all your saints adore,
praise to the Father, and to you and to the Spirit, evermore.
( Ephrem of Edessa )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Ephrem of Edessa: voice of Syrian Christianity
(transferred from Sunday)
While the early church was filled with saints of Greek and Latin origins, Saint Ephrem’s life speaks loudly about the early growth and spread of Christianity to the East. The present day Syrian Orthodox Church and the Assyrian Church of the East both claim Ephrem as a learned scholar, Bible commentator, theologian and hymn writer.
The great school at Edessa in the fourth century was led by Ephrem. He was one of the few Syrians who were able to attend the Council of Nicea. The theological struggle which erupted in the Syrian Church was over Christ’s humanity. Some Syrian Christians claimed that Christ had a single divine personality. These became the originators of the Syrian Orthodox Church. They were known as Monophysites (one nature). Others held that Christ had two distinct personalities: the divine Son of God and the human Son of Mary. These were the originators of the Assyrian Church of the East and were known at Dyphysites (two natures). Ephrem died before the conflict became full blown, and so is revered by both groups as well as by the Orthodox and Western Churches.
Scripture. In “The Letter to the Ephesians,” chapter three, verse eight, we read:
Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ.
… for peace in the world.
… for the restoration of the Church throughout the East.
… for the Christians of the Eastern churches, in particular for those who live in nations now predominantly hostile to their faith.
… for respectful fellowship and communion between all who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.
… for an end to child labour and exploitation throughout the world; for the welfare of those children who have to work; for an end to the inequality of wealth that makes child labour necessary for many families. DETAILS
… for the people of the Republic of the Philippines and the people of Russia, who celebrate their national days today.
… that the meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore will result in a less dangerous, more peaceful world.
… for Emmy, the nineteen-month-old daughter of former US Olympic skier, Bode Miller, who has died after falling into a swimming pool; for all families who mourn the accidental death of a child. DETAILS
… for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.
… for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
… for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
… for ourselves.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
From the homily, “On Admonition and Repentance” by Ephrem of Edessa:
This is the first commandment, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and your soul, and with your might according as you are able.
The sign that you love God, is this, that you love your fellow; and if you hate your fellow, your hatred is towards God. For it is blasphemy if you pray before God while you are wrathful. For your heart also convicts you, that in vain you multiply words: your conscience rightly judges that in your prayers you profit nought.
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?
Leave off rage and then pray; and unless you would further provoke, restrain anger and so shall you supplicate. And if he the other is not to encounter you in fury, banish rage from that body, because it is set aside with lusts.
You have a spiritual nature; the soul is the image of the Creator; honour the image of God, by being in agreement with all men. Remember death, and be not angry, that your peace be not of constraint. As long as your life remains to you, cleanse your soul from wrath; for if it should go to Sheol with you, your road will be straight to Gehenna.
Keep not anger in your heart; hold not fury in your soul; you have not power over thy soul, save to do that which is good.
You are bought with the blood of God; you are 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 are in truth his servant, fear your holy Lord; if you are his true disciple, walk in your master’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.
Pour out on us, O Lord, that same Spirit by which your deacon Ephrem rejoiced to proclaim in sacred song the mysteries of faith; and so gladden our hearts that we, like him, may be devoted to you alone; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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