Monday, May 19, 2014

Met. Ephrem (Kyriakos) on Purity

Arabic original here.


Saint John Climacus says, "The perfection of purity is the foundation of the knowledge of God" (The Ladder 30:20). Likewise, the Lord says in His Sermon on the Mount "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8). In bodily terms, purity is a body free of dirtiness. In spiritual terms, purity is a soul free from sins. Spiritual purity does not negate the body. Rather, it spiritualizes it.

The spiritual person is one who accepts nothing into his soul except divine seed. That is, God's word and his commandments.

The pure person becomes a bride of God. God is spirit and the pure, spiritual person easily accepts into his soul spiritual seed.

It is then possible for him to accept into his soul not only God's word because he understands it, but also to transmit it to others. In other words, to bear Christ as a living word and to transmit Him to others.

The word is transmitted either through teaching, evangelism and preaching or through action and living sacrifice. That is, sacrifice and free service.

This is what we, the baptized faithful, receive at the Divine Sacrifice. At the Divine Liturgy we receive Christ as an evangelical word through teaching and preaching, just as we receive Him as an offering, as the sacrifice of Christ's body and blood in receiving communion.

What we receive at the Divine Liturgy we give to others if we are pure. That is, if we are always in humility and repentance before God.

I said that the pure person, one stripped of passions and repentant before his Lord, through the divine seed becomes a bride of God. He is capable of embracing others just as God embraces us in His mercy and loving-kindness.

He begets others in faith and love. He becomes a spiritual father-- indeed, a mother who embraces her children in the fullest sense of the word.

This is spiritual fertility. I will say once more that requires emptying the self of all egoism. It does not occur except through the power of the Holy Spirit who alone is able to purify the soul that repents before its Lord.

Metropolitan of Tripoli, Koura and Their Dependencies

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