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Church Fathers, Day 280: St. Ephrem the Syrian says don’t insult God’s image

Church Fathers, Day 280: St. Ephrem the Syrian says don’t insult God’s image April 27, 2015

st_ephrem_3Don’t insult God’s image

If you are angry at your neighbor, says St. Ephrem the Syrian, you are angry at God, because your neighbor is the image of God. But if you honor your neighbor, you honor God.

If you are angry against your neighbor, you are angry against God; and if you bear anger in your heart, your pride is lifted up against the Lord. If you rebuke in envy, all your reproof is wicked.

But if love dwells in you, you have no enemy on earth. And if you are a true child of peace, you will do no wrong to your neighbor.

And if you love to be angry, be angry with the wicked and it will be appropri­ate. If you look to wage war, here is Satan for your adversary. If you wish to revile, display your curses against the demons.

But if you insult the King’s image, you will pay the penalty of murder; and if you revile a human being, you revile the image of God. Do honor to your neigh­bor, and you have honored God. But if you wish to dishonor God, attack your neighbor in anger!

–St. Ephrem the Syrian, Homily on Admonition and Repentance, 3

IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .

When was the last time I was really angry with someone?

How can I teach myself to remember that even that person is the image of God?

CLOSING PRAYER

Father, fill my heart with the spirit of charity, so that I may see your image in all my brothers and sisters.

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