Just one of Your words

Saint Ephrem the Syrian writes:

Lord, who can grasp all the wealth of just one of Your words? What we understand is much less than what we leave behind, like thirsty people who drink from a fountain. For Your word, Lord, has many shades of meaning just as those who study it have many different points of view.

The Lord has colored His words with many hues so that each person who studies it can see in it what he loves. He has hidden many treasures in His word so that each of us is enriched as we meditate on it.

The word of God is a tree of life that from all its parts offers you fruits that are blessed. It is like that rock opened in the desert that from all its parts gave forth a spiritual drink. As the Apostle says, All ate the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink.

He who comes into contact with some share of its treasure should not think that the only thing contained in the word is what he himself has found. He should realize that he has only been able to find that one thing from among many others. Nor, because only that one part has become his, should he say that the word is void and empty and look down on it; but because he could not exhaust it he should give thanks for its riches.

Be glad that you were overcome and do not be sad that it overcame you. The thirsty man rejoices when he drinks and he is not downcast because he cannot empty the fountain. Rather, let the fountain quench your thirst than have your thirst quench the fountain. Because if your thirst is quenched and the fountain is not exhausted, you can drink from it again whenever you are thirsty. But if when your thirst is quenched the fountain also is dried up, your victory will bode evil for you.

Be grateful for what you have received and do not grumble about the abundance left behind. What you have received and what you have reached is your share; what remains is your heritage. What, at one time, you are not able to receive because of your weakness, you will be able to receive at other times if you persevere. Do not have the presumption to try and take in one draught what cannot be taken in one draught, and do not abandon out of laziness what you may only consume little by little.

— Commentary on the Diatessaron 1:18-19

Author: Father Silouan Thompson

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