Throw off your shackles; Church Fathers: Day 308

St. Ephrem the Syrian imagines a conversation between Satan and the “sinful woman” of Luke 7:37-50. She throws off the yoke of Satan—and leaves the devil in tears!

Satan said to the sinful woman, “I tell you, woman, that I am the first of your lovers. I am not such as you, and I place my hands on you. I will give you much more gold than before.”

The sinful woman answered, “I am wearied of you, sir, and you are no more my lover. I have won for myself a husband in heaven, who is God that is over all, and his dominion stands for ever, and his Kingdom shall not be dissolved.

“See how in your presence I say it; I say it again and I am not lying. I was a handmaid to Satan from my childhood to this day. I was a bridge, and he walked over me, and I destroyed thousands of men. The eyepaint blinded my eyes, and made me blind among many whom I blinded. I became sightless and did not know that there is One who gives light to the sightless.

“Now see how I am going to get light for my eyes, and by that light to give light to many. I was fast bound, and did not know that there is One who over­throws idols. Look! I am going to have my idols destroyed, and so to destroy the follies of many. I was wounded and knew not that there is One who binds up wounds; and look! I am going to have my wounds bound.”

These things the harlot spoke to Satan in her wisdom; and he groaned and was grieved and wept; and he cried aloud and thus he spoke: “I am conquered by you, woman, and I do not know what I shall do!”

–St. Ephrem the Syrian, Homily on the Sinful Woman, 8


What old sins of mine do I have to throw off to get out from under Satan’s thumb?


May our Lord account us worthy of hearing this word of his: “Come, enter, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom made ready for all who shall do my will, and observe all my com­mandments.” To him be glory, on us be mercy, at all times.

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