Today in the Orthodox Church we remember among others St. Ephraim (or Ephrem) the Syrian, born in the early 4th century, a theologian and prolific writer of hymns. His prayer we pray daily during Lent.
A book of hymns and meditations by St. Ephraim was collected by St. Theophan the Recluse into A Spiritual Psalter. I would like to spend some time in this book, especially after reading today’s entry in The Prologue of Ohrid, where there is a hymn to Ephraim by St. Nikolai opening with the words,
Ephraim’s heart burns
With love for Christ,
And Ephraim’s tongue speaks
Of the pure wisdom of the Gospel.
Ephraim, the honey-bearing bee;
Ephraim, the fruit-bearing rain!
Just as God sends the bees and the rain to work for our joy and profit, so He sends people like this man. I’d like to keep that image of a buzzing and busy bee in my mind a while; let me drink holy nectar and refresh others the way God uses His creatures and creation to constantly renew my spirit.
And for today, one morsel of honey from this holy bee:
The chutzpah of our love is pleasing to you, O Lord,
just as it pleased you that we should steal from your bounty.