Editor's note:

Today, St. Ephrem close­ly links love and hon­or of God to love and hon­or of our neigh­bor, specif­i­cal­ly in his admo­ni­tions not to be wrath­ful about per­ceived wrongs, but to live in peace and agree­ment with all our broth­ers and sisters.

—Renovaré Team

If you are angry against your neigh­bor, you are angry against God; and if you bear anger in your heart, against your Lord is your bold­ness uplift­ed. If in envy you rebuke, wicked is all your reproof. But if char­i­ty dwell in you, you have on earth no ene­my. And if you are a true son of peace, you will stir up wrath in no man. If you are just and upright, you will not do wrong to your fel­low. And if you love to be angry, be angry with the wicked and it will become you; if to wage war you seek, lo! Satan is your adver­sary; if you desire to revile, against the demons dis­play your curs­es. If you should insult the King’s image, you shall pay the penal­ty of mur­der; and if you revile a man, you revile the image of God. Do hon­or to your neigh­bor, and lo! you have hon­ored God. But if you would dis­hon­or Him, in wrath assail your neighbor! 

You have a spir­i­tu­al nature; the soul is the image of the Cre­ator; hon­or the image of God, by being in agree­ment with all men. Remem­ber death, and be not angry, that your peace be not of con­straint. As long as your life remains to you, cleanse your soul from wrath; for if it should go to She­ol with you, your road will be straight to Gehen­na. Keep not anger in your heart; hold not fury in your soul; you have not pow­er over your soul, save to do that which is good. You are bought with the blood of God; you are redeemed by the pas­sion of Christ; for your sake He suf­fered death, that you might die to your sins. His face endured spit­ting, that you might not shrink from scorn. Vine­gar and gall did He drink, that you might be set apart from wrath. He received stripes on His body, that you might not fear suf­fer­ing. If you are in truth His ser­vant, fear your holy Lord; if you are His true dis­ci­ple, walk in your Mas­ter’s foot­steps. Endure scorn from your broth­er, that you may be the com­pan­ion of Christ. Dis­play not anger against man, that you be not set apart from your Redeemer.

Pub­lic domain, via newad​vent​.org.

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