The Beautiful Mercy of Christ

EphremSt. Ephrem the Syrian  (4th Century) writes a wonderful poem in which among many other things he meditates on Luke 8:26-39, the Gerasene demoniac named Legion.  Ephrem is encouraged by the fact that Christ grants Legion’s request to be allowed to go into the swine.  First, Christ grants the prayer of a demon, so surely He will listen to the prayers of Christians.  Second, the demon asked to go into the herd of swine, surely Jesus will much more joyfully grant the request of those seeking with their whole hearts entrance into heaven.   

            Look too at Legion:

                                    Ephremwhen in anguish he begged,

                        our Lord permitted and allowed him

                                    to enter into the herd;

                        respite did he ask for, without deception,

                                    in his anguish,

                        and our Lord in His kindness

                                    granted this request.

                        His compassion for demons

                                    is a rebuke to that People,

                        showing how much anguish His love suffers

                                   in desiring that men and women should live.


                        Encouraged by the words

                                    I had heard,

                        I knelt down and wept there,

                                    and spoke before our Lord:

                        saavatij“Legion received his request from You

                                    without any tears;

                        permit me, with my tears,

                                    to make my request,

                        grant me to enter, instead of that herd,

                                    the Garden,

                        so that in Paradise I may sing

                                    of its Planter’s compassion.”

One thought on “The Beautiful Mercy of Christ

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