Church Fathers, Day 150: St. Ephrem tells us to run away from mockery

Church Fathers, Day 150: St. Ephrem tells us to run away from mockery December 18, 2014

Run away from mockery

Making fun of people makes us like Satan, says St. Ephrem the Syrian. Not only should we avoid doing it ourselves, but we should flee if we even hear mockery.

If you love derision, you are just like Satan; and if you mock your fellow, you are the mouth of the devil. If you delight in calling people names because of their defects and flaws, Satan is not in creation but you have seized his place by force.

Run far away from this! For it is altogether hurtful. If you want to live well, do not sit with the scorner, or you may become the partner of his sin and of his pun­ishment. Hate mockery that brings weeping, and mirth that brings down cleansing.

And if you should hear a mocker by chance when you do not wish to hear, sign yourself with the cross of light, and run from that place like an antelope. Where Satan lodges, Christ will certainly not dwell; a spacious dwelling for Satan is the man who mocks his neighbor; a palace of the Enemy is the heart of the mocker. Satan does not desire to add any other evil to it. Mockery is sufficient for him to supply the place of all.

The mocker can fill neither his belly nor his purse with that sin of his. By his laughter the wretch is despoiled, but he neither knows nor sees it. For his wound there is no cure; for his sickness there is no healing; his pain admits no remedy; and his sore endures no medicine. With such a person, I do not wish to put forth my tongue to reprove him: his own shame is enough for him; sufficient for him is his boldness. Blessed is he who has not heard him; and blessed is he who has not known him. Be it far from you, O Church, that he should enter you, that evil leaven of Satan!

St. Ephrem the Syrian, Homily on Admonition and Repentance, 6


When it comes to mockery, am I a good listener?

How can I overcome the temptation to listen and enjoy when other people are being insulted?


My tongue shall tell of your righteousness, and of your praise all day long. (Psalm 35:28)

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