Sunday, June 23, 2019

Met Ephrem (Kyriakos): Holiness

Arabic original here.


The saint lives, in the end, outside of time and place. He is the person who was able, with the Lord's help, to transcend "the principle of pleasure" and "the principle of selfishness."

For him, love of self is inverted into love of God and love of others. For him, the neighbor is no longer one individual among others, he is a unique person, an icon of Christ, "my joy," as Saint Seraphim of Sarov called him.

The holy person sees each one. He values everything in the light of Christ. He sees the meaning and purpose of life through the life and teachings of Christ.

"Be holy for I am holy," says the Bible (Leviticus 11:44). Holy means set apart, dedicated to God. This only occurs through the Holy Spirit. "Leave everything and follow Me." This is also from the apostles.

"Be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). Perfection is following the path of perfection, and this path passes through the renunciation of lusts and harmful passions: worship of money, worship of authority (and authoritarianism), worship of pleasure (and sexual deviance): the whole spirit of this world.

All of this is for the acquisition of the Holy Spirit: the Spirit of wisdom, the Spirit of understanding...

The way along this path is perfected in giving glory to God and acquiring love that "does not seek its own" (1 Corinthians 13:5) and also acquiring humility and meekness: "Learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:29).

The Christian youth is characterized by courage and boldness. He rejects worldly compromises. He dares to say "no" before all these challenges and compromises. This is how the holy martyrs were.

All of this helps him in the spirit of piety and the practice of the prayer of the heart, the Jesus prayer: remember the name of Jesus constantly according to the saying: do not forget to remember God, to remember the name of the Lord constantly. Amen.

Metropolitan of Tripoli, al-Koura and their Dependencies

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