Christ the Head of the Church

The Blessed Theodoret of Cyrus (d. ca 457AD) commenting on St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, writes:

And he made him head over all things for the Church, which is his body (Eph. 1:22-23):

Christ the Lord has the position of head, whereas those who believe in him have the position of the body. The fullness of him who fills all in all. By Church he refers to the collection of the faithful; he called it Christ’s body and the Father’s fullness: he filled it with all kinds of gifts, he dwells in it and walks about in it, according to the inspired text.”

(Commentary on the Letters of St. Paul: Volume Two, pgs. 37-38)

The Wall of Anger

“Amma Syncletica said:  ‘It is good not to get angry, but if this should happen, St. Paul does not allow you a whole day for this passion, for he says: “Let not the sun go down” (Eph. 4:25). Will you wait till all your time is ended? Why hate the one who has grieved you? It is not this person who has done the wrong, but the evil one. Hate sickness but not the sick person.’ Desert spirituality perceived anger as a deterrent to the inner journey and a wall to unity with God. Anger often revealed a lack of detachment, and certainly violated silence. If a disciple got angry, then Amma Syncletica wanted her followers to be aware of the differences between the person and sin. We must deal with the cause of our anger: acknowledge the gift and message of anger and respond to what our anger is calling forth in us. If we do not actively attend to our anger, it comes out in ugliness such as bitterness, whining, rage, and depression.

Unfortunately we can just sit around and nurture our anger, stroke it into resentment, and get negative energy from passively attending to it. If we are willing to actively listen to what our anger would tell us, we can then act on what we must do: seek reconciliation, speak the truth, and/or make necessary changes in our life. Working with a spiritual compassion or modern day amma to discern how to respond to our anger may be very helpful. It is not always obvious what we must do with our response to our anger. Reflection with a wise amma can help. For a heart seeking only God, there is no room for resentment.” (Laura Swan, The Forgotten Desert Mothers, pgs. 55-56)