Saturday, August 11, 2018

Met Ephrem (Kyriakos) on Corruption

Arabic original here.


Today we hear a lot of people talk about corruption, competing in research and efforts to combat this corruption, while it nevertheless continues to be prevalent in society.

What is corruption? And how do we treat it?

In his discussion of ancestral sin, Saint Athanasius the Great says that this sin has corrupted human nature. We inherit such a nature from our birth. In this sense we say, "In sins did my mother beget me." Of course, we do not inherit Adam's sin, but rather its consequences, and we add to this our personal sins. All of this brings us to bodily death and our sin brings us to spiritual death.

The Lord Jesus gave Himself over to death, so that He might deliver us through His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead.

He has sent us the grace of the Holy Spirit so that we may be saved, since baptism, from natural corruption and afterwards, by way of our death to our passions and lusts, we may be saved from spiritual death. So then there is a corruption that comes about due to our attachment to the lusts of this world: money, authority and wicked pleasure.

The Gospel points out such wicked lusts when it says, "You cannot serve two masters, God and money" (Matthew 6:24).

"Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant" (Matthew 20:26). "Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own" (1 Corinthians 6:19)

Bodily purity, integrity in interactions involving money, renunciation of selfishness and dedication to serving others-- all of this is necessary in order to treat all sorts of corruption in society. Naturally, this requires struggle [literally, jihad] in practicing one's profession: in law, in medicine, in education especially, in commerce and in politics. In the language of the Church, we call this struggle "ascesis", renunciation of the love of money and the love of appearances.

Last but not least,  we will cite the prayer that we offer to the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, to be freed from corruption:

"O Virgin, entreat your Lord and your Son, who by surrendering Himself to death saved our nature, dominated by corruption, from death and corruption... we constantly implore you to save us from the corruption of our passions... to raise us up from the corruption of sicknesses" (the Small Paraklesis).

Metropolitan of Tripoli, al-Koura and their Dependencies

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