Monday, December 25, 2017

Isaac of Nineveh for Christmas

One of my favorite figure of the early Church is Isaac of Nineveh, aka, Isaac the Syrian (613-700). For Christmas Day, here is a selection from one of his sermons. Of course, Isaac would affirm that his exhortation is not just for Christmas. To be a Christian is to seek to make all of one’s life rhyme with the life of the life of One whose birth we celebrate this day.

This Christmas night [Christ] bestowed peace on the whole world;
So let no one threaten;

This is the night of the Most Gentle One 
Let no one be cruel;

This is the night of the Humble One 
Let no one be proud.

Now is the day of joy 
Let us not revenge;

Now is the day of Good Will 
Let us not be mean.

In this Day of Peace 
Let us not be conquered by anger.

Today the Bountiful impoverished Himself for our sake;
So, rich one, invite the poor to your table.

Today we receive a Gift for which we did not ask;
So let us give alms to those who implore and beg us.

This present Day casts open the heavenly doors to our prayers;
Let us open our door to those who ask our forgiveness.

Today the Divine Being took upon Himself the seal of our humanity,
In order for humanity to be decorated by the seal of divinity.

Christ is Born!
Glorify Him!

More Isaac the Syrian: The Challenge of a Merciful Heart

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