Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian: Saint Ephraim the Syrian

“A festival for the spiritual man,” Saint Ephraim the Syrian writes, “is the observance of the divine commandments, and his consolation abstinence from evil. His pride is the fear of God, his real joy the day when the Heavenly King calls him to inherit His eternal riches.”

A festival is a day for celebration. We celebrate the birth and resurrection of Jesus.  We celebrate saints.  We celebrate all Christians on All Saints’ Day. We celebrate all who have died on All Souls’ Day.

We celebrate those who observed the commandments, who abstained from evil. We celebrate those who know the embrace of the Lord.

We too can be a part of this celebration, this festival, this feast.  All the Law and all the Prophets are summed up into loving God with every fiber of one’s being and loving one’s neighbor as one’s self. We love and in return we know the embrace of the Lord.

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