Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Feast of Saint Ephrem

Today is the feast of St. Ephrem. A day that the church honors this poet, teacher, orator and defender of the faith. He lived from 306 - 373 AD in Syria. St. Ephrem is recognized as one of the "Doctors of the Church." He fought heresy at the time by taking the heretic's melodies and composing beautiful hymns that incorporated orthodox doctrine. He was known as the "Harp of the Holy Spirit."
One of his hymns below:

Lay me not with sweet spices,
For this honor avails me not,
Nor yet use incense and perfumes,
For the honor befits me not.
Burn yet the incense in the holy place;
As for me, escort me only with your prayers,
Give ye your incense to God,
And over me send up hymns.
Instead of perfumes and spices,
Be mindful of me in your intercessions.
(From The Testament of St. Ephrem)

In the fourth century we have evidence in a hymn that Christians interceded for one another after death. This is a bit of historical evidence that prayers for the souls of people after death was an ancient practice of the early church as it was for the Jews before them.


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