Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Met Ephrem (Kyriakos) on Marriage

Arabic original here.

The Mystery of Marriage

Marriage is a holy mystery.

The mystery of divine love is like a channel through which passes the grace of the Holy Spirit. This grace does not eliminate a person's freedom. It works within him like potential energy that is activated through practicing the Christian life in accordance with the Gospel, causing man and woman to walk on the path that brings them to participation in the life of God.

This transformation occurs through the path of constant repentance. This transformation is activated through divine grace. This is what happened with the water and wine at Cana of Galilee.

Marriage is the mystery of the cross. It is the way of emptying the self of the ego: "Through the cross, joy came into all the world," a type of ascetic life in marriage through the spouses' connection with God. The rite of crowning is after the example of the martyrs who gave blood and received the Spirit of holiness.

The Apostle Paul says, "This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church" (Ephesians 5:32). The husband is required to love his wife and Christ loved the Church and to sacrifice himself for her sake. The Church is nothing other than an extension of Christ's body in the world, obedience in love and love in obedience. Obedience is waiting for God. It is love. The husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the Church. He is like a servant in emptying himself, in denying himself. "Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant" (Matthew 20:26).

The union of husband and wife in Christ constitutes a little church, as in a triangle. The condition is one faith in Jesus Christ. The foundation of the family is Christ. Divorce is a grate tragedy. Divorce comes as a result of hardness of heart.

The dissolution of marriage comes as an exceptional leniency for the salvation of the human soul. The second marriage is another example of the practice of economia. Marriage is in the hands of the bishop, as with all the mysteries. The service of marriage was tied to the Divine Liturgy, with the mystery of the Eucharist. The rite of crowning came to be separated from the Eucharist because of Christians' mixing.

The purpose of the marital relationship is spiritual perfection, the holiness of the husband and wife.

Metropolitan of Tripoli, al-Koura and their Dependencies

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