Skip to comments.St. Ephrem the Syrian, If Christ is Not God, Our Salvation is a Lie (Rejecting the DaVinci Code)
Posted on 04/08/2006 6:17:43 PM PDT by Coleus
In The Da Vinci Code, one finds the horrible affirmation advanced by one of its characters that Christ is not God but was deified by Constantine to advance a political agenda. This is supposedly the greatest cover-up in history. From the very beginning of the Church, there have always been those who denied Christs Divinity. However, there have also been saints that have gloriously affirmed Christs Divinity.
St. Ephrem the Syrian (c.306373) was one such saint. In his commentary on the Transfiguration, he comments upon how Christ showed His apostles the glory of His Divinity that has been concealed and hidden by His humanity. He poses these timely questions for those who do not believe:
The facts themselves bear witness and His divine acts of power teach those who doubt that He is true God, and His sufferings show that He is true man. And if those who are feeble in understanding are not fully assured, they will pay the penalty on His dread day. If He was not flesh, why was Mary introduced at all? And if He was not God, whom was Gabriel calling Lord?
If He was not flesh, who was lying in the manger? And if He was not God, whom did the Angels come down and glorify? If He was not flesh, who was wrapped in swaddling clothes? And if He was not God, whom did the shepherds worship? If He was not flesh, whom did Joseph circumcise? And if He was not God, in whose honor did the star speed through the heavens?
If He was not flesh, whom did Mary suckle? And if He was not God, to whom did the Magi offer gifts? If He was not flesh, whom did Simeon carry in his arms? And if He was not God, to whom did He say, Let me depart in peace? If He was not flesh, whom did Joseph take and flee into Egypt? And if He was not God, in whom were words Out of Egypt I have called my Son fulfilled?
If He was not flesh, whom did John baptize? And if He was not God, to whom did the Father from heaven say, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased? If He was not flesh, who fasted and hungered in the desert? And if He was not God, whom did the Angels come down and serve? If He was not flesh, who was invited to the wedding in Cana of Galilee? And if He was not God, who turned the water into wine?
If He was not flesh, in whose hands were the loaves? And if He was not God, who satisfied crowds and thousands in the desert, not counting women and children, from five loaves and two fishes? If He was not flesh, who fell asleep in the boat? And if He was not God, who rebuked the winds and the sea? If He was not flesh, with whom did Simon the Pharisee eat? And if He was not God, who pardoned the offences of the sinful woman? If He was not flesh, who sat by the well, worn out by the journey? And if He was not God, who gave living water to the woman of Samaria and reprehended her because she had had five husbands?
If He was not flesh, who wore human garments? And if He was not God, who did acts of power and wonders? If He was not flesh, who spat on the ground and made clay? And if He was not God, who through the clay compelled the eyes to see? If He was not flesh, who wept at Lazarus grave? And if He was not God, who by His command brought out one four days dead? If He was not flesh, who sat on the foal? And if He was not God, whom did the crowds go out to meet with glory? If He was not flesh, whom did the Jews arrest? And if He was not God, who gave an order to the earth and threw them onto their faces.
If He was not flesh, who was struck with a blow? And if He was not God, who cured the ear that had been cut off by Peter and restored it to its place? If He was not flesh, who received spittings on His face? And if He was not God, who breathed the Holy Spirit into the faces of His Apostles? If He was not flesh, who stood before Pilate at the judgment seat? And if He was not God, who made Pilates wife afraid by a dream? If He was not flesh, whose garments did the soldiers strip off and divide? And if He was not God, how was the sun darkened at the cross?
If He was not flesh, who was hung on the cross? And if He was not God, who shook the earth from its foundations? If He was not flesh, whose hands and feet were transfixed by nails? And if He was not God, how was the veil of the temple rent, the rocks broken and the graves opened? If He was not flesh, who cried out, My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? And if He was not God, who said Father, forgive them? If He was not flesh, who was hung on a cross with the thieves? And if He was not God, how did He say to the thief, Today you will be with me in Paradise?
If He was not flesh, to whom did they offer vinegar and gall? And if He was not God, on hearing whose voice did Hades tremble? If He was not flesh, whose side did the lance pierce, and blood and water came out? And if He was not God, who smashed the gates of Hades and tear apart ist bonds? And at whose command did the imprisoned dead come out? If He was not flesh, whom did the Apostles see in the upper room? And if He was not God, how did He enter when the doors were shut?
If He was not flesh, which marks of the nails and the lance in whose hands and side did Thomas handle? And if He was not God, to whom did He cry out, My Lord and my God? If He was not flesh, who ate by the sea of Tiberius? And if He was not God, at whose command was the net filled? If He was not flesh, whom did the Apostles and Angels see being taken up into heaven? And if He was not God, to whom was heaven opened, whom did the Powers worship in fear and whom did the Father invite to Sit at my right hand. As David said, The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand, etc.
If He was not God and man, our salvation is a lie, and the words of the Prophets are lies. (Translation from http://www.anastasis.org.uk/on_the_transfiguration.htm with permission) Indeed, St. Ephrems words ring true today. Is it any wonder that there are those who protest when Christs Divinity is publicly doubted and denied before millions?
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Why is this on breaking news.
It's in religion now...
St. Ephrem rocks, if you ask me.
Why is this on breaking news. >>
It's not, it's posted on the FR religion forum.
I have been an Arian heretic for years.
+Ephraim the Syrian is always worth reading. Monday nights during Great Lent, Orthodox Christians say this Lenten Prayer of +Ephraim during the devotion of the Great Compline. The prostrations mentioned are full body prostrations, by the way, and demonstrate where the Mohammadens got that prayer practice from.
"O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, negligence, avarice and idle talk. prostration.
But grant me, Thy servant, the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love. prostration.
Yea, O Lord and king, grant me to see mine own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou unto the ages. Amen. prostration."
Is this St. Ephrem the same one sometimes called "The Melodist"? OR should I go back for more coffee ... :-).
You may be thinking of the same fellow as +Ephraim was the composer of many hymns. Its likely though you are thinking of +Romanos the Melodist, a Syrian who was greatly influenced by the hymns of +Ephraim (who is also called The Syrian, though he was from Mesopotamia).
"Romanos the Melodist" rings a bell. I must have read an article about him at some point, and got my Syrians muddled.
Thanks for helping!
I finally had time to read through the text -- this is a great piece! I'll print it out to use in my Sunday School class after Easter.
The controversy can only help. The same anti-christ ideas have been around forever in the guise of Templarism, Masonic "progressivism" (just try to put a crucifix on the wall...". ) and many other isms. Exposure to the light can only help dispell the shadows of lies and confusion.
1Jo 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jo 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
"In the flesh" means entirely within the realm of flesh, not partially, but wholely. Any confession other than Christ being in the flesh is one of anti Christ.
This prayer is said in the Byzantine Church during the Liturgy of the Presanctified (Liturgy of Pope St. Gregory the Great, by both Catholic and Orthodox alike. It is said at all services of the Divine Office during Lent and at various other times during the day recommended at morning, noon, evening upon arising and before retiring for the night.
O LORD, Master of my life, grant that I may not be infected with the spirit of slothfulness and inquisitiveness, with the spirit of ambition and vain talking.
Grant instead to me, your servant, the spirit of purity and of humility, the spirit of patience and neighborly love.
O Lord and King, grant me the grace of being aware of my sins and of not thinking evil of those of my brethren.
For you are blessed, now and ever, and forever.
Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit, and raises man to Heaven. -- Saint Ephraem
Saint Ephrem was born in Mesopotamia and ordained as a deacon of Edessa in whatis now Turkey, he vigorously combated the heresies of his time by writing poems and hymns about the Mysteries of Christ and the Blessed Virgin. He had a great devotion to Our Lady, and was in large part responsible for introducing hymns to public worship.
Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003
in Your love fill our hearts with the Holy Spirit,
who inspired the deacon Ephrem to sing
the praise of Your mysteries
and gave him strength to serve You alone.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: Colossians 3:12-17
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Gospel Reading: Luke 6:43-45
"For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Prayer for Strength in Weakness
Lord Jesus Christ, King of kings, you have power over life and death. You know even things that are uncertain and obscure, and our very thoughts and feelings are not hidden from you. Cleanse me from my secret faults, and I have done wrong and you saw it. You know how weak I am, both in soul and in body. Give me strength, O Lord, in my frailty and sustain me in my sufferings. Grant me a prudent judgement, dear Lord, and let me always be mindful of your blessings. Let me retain until the end your grace that has protected me till now.
St Ephrem of Syria, Deacon, Poet and Doctor
Related Links on the Vatican Website:
PRINCIPI APOSTOLORUM PETRO, Encyclical of Pope Benedict XV on St. Ephrem, October 5, 1920
Related Links on New Advent website:
Saint Ephraim the Syrian
- Nisibene Hymns
- Miscellaneous Hymns -- On the Nativity of Christ in the Flesh, For the Feast of the Epiphany, and On the Faith ("The Pearl")
- Homilies -- On Our Lord, On Admonition and Repentance, and On the Sinful Woman
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