Monday, June 09, 2008

St. Ephrem the Syrian

Today is the feast of St. Ephrem, Deacon, and a Doctor of the Church. Declared so by Pope Benedict XV. The next Benedict dedicated a Wednesday catechesis to this prolific Syriac ascetic last year. It's worth a read. Here's a snippet of a poem by St. Ephrem that he quoted:
"The Lord came to her
to make himself a servant.
The Word came to her
to keep silence in her womb.
The lightning came to her
to not make any noise.

"The shepherd came to her
and the Lamb is born, who humbly cries.
Because Mary's womb
has reversed the roles:
The one who created all things
wasn't born rich, but poor.

"The Almighty came to her (Mary),
but he came humbly.
Splendor came to her,
but dressed in humble clothes.
The One who gives us all things
met hunger.

"The One who gives water to everyone
met thirst.
Naked and unclothed he came from her,
he who dresses all things (with beauty)."

(Hymn "De Nativitate" 11, 6-8).

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