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This sermon is the second of the two short pieces which follow the two On the Fathers who have finished their course, the first of which I have already translated for this page. Indeed it is not evident that this was originally a separate piece, since the first line in the Greek simply speaks of ‘his weakness’, that is the devil’s. As with the genuine Syriac hymns of St Ephrem, the division into text into separate hymns often varies from manuscript to manuscript and edition to edition.

The arrangement of the text is similar to that of the hymn On the Fathers who have finished their course translated earlier. In the new Greek edition the text is in volume 2, pages 32-33.


Knowing, then, brethren, [the Enemys] weakness,
let us attend to ourselves, imitating the Fathers.

If we walk in the way that they walked in,
we shall find in it that the Lord Jesus
has become for us guide and fellow-worker.

When then Enemy sees that Christ, the true Light,
is with us, he will not dare
to look at us at all, for the light that is in us
blinds his eyes. So, as I said before,
brethren, lovers of Christ, let us be determined
to purify our hearts, so as to draw upon us
the grace of the Spirit for our assistance;
and no longer does the evil one have power against us.

But we idiots give him power
by distancing ourselves from God
by setting aside his holy commandments.

Finding us stripped naked of grace, the Enemy
guides us himself into his own way.

Therefore I implore you, and beg you always:
Let us flee the evil one; let us keep away from him;
let us untie the bonds with which he has bound us
by our own choice. Let us take refuge in Christ,
bearing the good and light yoke
of his compassion, so that, walking
in the good way of Chris
t’s commandments,
we may reach the city which God has prepared
for those who love him. To him belong honour
and majesty, to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever,
and to the ages of ages. Amen.

This translation by Archimandrite Ephrem 1997. 

All texts and translations on this page are copyright to
Archimandrite Ephrem

This page was last updated on 03 November 2008