Tuesday, June 9, 2009

St. Ephraem and prayers for Lebanon

A couple of years ago, I substituted for almost an entire year in a middle school language arts classroom.

I had the privilege of teaching twin sisters from Lebanon that year. They were lovely, inside and out. I remember how they would sign their names in English and Arabic, with its graceful sweeping curves and dips and dots.

And I remember how they often wrote about Lebanon - with great love. Their essays were almost prayer-like in nature, a prayer for their homeland.

I may have my facts wrong, but I think today's saint is one of their favorites. St. Ephraem. He was a deacon who lived in Mesopotamia from 306-373 A.D. He was famous for his homilies and hymns, which spread throughout the world.

I think of those girls, so far from the land of their grandparents and relatives. And yet, they carry their faith - yes, they are devout Catholics - everywhere they go. They intercede for their beloved Lebanon, and they give Americans like me a beautiful glimpse into a country I will never see.

And it makes it easy to pray for Lebanon, because I have faces to put with the country. And so, I say a prayer today for their homeland. Won't you join me?


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