St. Ephrem is said to have been born of a Christian mother and pagan father in Nisibis, Mesopotamia (modern Nusaybin, Turkey), in about 306. He was baptized a Christian when he was a young man of eighteen and became a teacher in his native city. After the cession of Nisibis to Persia in 363, he moved to Edessa, Greece, where he continued to teach. He remained a deacon all his life, and to escape episcopal consecration he is supposed to have feigned madness. His writings, written in Syriac, include biblical exegesis and dogmatic treatises, as well as ascetical works. The Syrian Church refers to him as the Harp of the Holy Spirit, not only because of his many hymns, which are still sung in the Syrian liturgy, but also because many of his other works were written in verse. Ephrem had singular devotion to the Virgin Mary, and in his writings he so emphasized her perfect sinlessness that he is now numbered among the earliest Fathers of the Church to teach Mary’s Immaculate Conception. Ephrem died in Edessa on June 9, 373, and in 1920 Pope Benedict XV gave him the title of doctor of the Church—the only Syrian Father to be so honored. The opening prayer of the Mass today hints at St. Ephrem’s poetical talent when it says that the Holy Spirit inspired the deacon Ephrem to sing the praise of God’s mysteries.
Tylenda, J. N. (2003). Saints and Feasts of the Liturgical Year (pp. 101–102). Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
We All Can Make A Difference Every human being is an incalculable force, bearing within him something of the future. To the end of time, our daily words and actions will bear fruit, either good or bad; nothing that we have once given of ourselves will perish, but our words and works, handed on from one to another, will continue to do good or harm to remote generations. This is why life is a sacred thing, and we ought not to pass through it thoughtlessly, but to appreciate its value and use it so that, when we are gone, the sum total of good in the world may be greater. Elisabeth Leseur, Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur
Lent Is About Increasing Christian Joy! Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This year the Lord grants us, once again, a favorable time to prepare to celebrate with renewed hearts the great mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the cornerstone of our personal and communal Christian life. We must continually return to this mystery in mind and heart, for it will continue to grow within us in the measure that we are open to its spiritual power and respond with freedom and generosity.
The paschal mystery as the basis of conversion Christian joy flows from listening to, and accepting, the Good News of the death and resurrection of Jesus. This kerygma sums up the mystery of a love “so real, so true, so concrete, that it invites us to a relationship of openness and fruitful dialogue” (Christus Vivit, 117). Whoever believes this message rejects the lie that our life is ours to do with as we will. Rather, life is born of the love of God our Father, from his desire to grant us life in abundance (c…
Prophecy Given To Fr. Michael Scanlan in 1976 Son of man, do you see that city going bankrupt? Are you willing to see all your cities going bankrupt? Are you willing to see the bankruptcy of the whole economic system you rely on now so that all money is worthless and cannot support you?
Son of man, do you see the crime and lawlessness in your city streets, and towns, and institutions? Are you willing to see no law, no order, no protection for you except that which I myself will give you?
Son of man, do you see the country which you love and which you are now celebrating—a country’s history that you look back on with nostalgia? Are you willing to see no country—no country to call your own except those I give you as my body? Will you let me bring you life in my body and only there?
Son of man, do you see those churches which you can go to so easily now? Are you ready to see them with bars across their doors, with doors nailed shut? Are you ready to base your life only on me and not on any p…