“Christ and chrism are conjoined; the secret with the visible is mingled: the chrism anoints visibly, Christ seals secretly. … The chrism of Christ separates, the sons of the mystery from strangers; and by it they that are within are separated, and known from them that are without.
“The oil which Elijah multiplied, might be tasted with the mouth; for the cruse was that of the widow, it was not that of the chrism. The oil of our Lord that is in the chrism, it is not food for the mouth. …The chrism of the meek and lowly one changes the stubborn to be like its Lord. The Gentiles were wolves and feared the severe rod of Moses. Lo! the chrism seals them and makes a flock of sheep out of the wolves!” ~St. Ephraim the Syrian
Christ and Chrism
What St. Ephraim means when he says that Christ and chrism are “conjoined” is that chrism represents Christ in an allegorical sense, and when one is anointed with chrism, it symbolizes that the person has become one with Christ, or at least has been accepted by Christ. But this may be confusing because here “Christ” does not refer to Jesus, or any other person, but to that eternal spirit which existed long before it d welled for a time in the man, Jesus.
When Ephraim says the chrism of Christ separates “the sons of mystery from strangers” he means those who are true followers of the teaching of Jesus Christ, rather than those who simply worship Him while ignoring what he taught, from the general public. This separation may or may not be true on a physical level, as with the Essenes who lived in their own little communities, but more importantly, it means spiritually, they are not in the same group, the same class. This does not mean that one group is better than another, only that they have reached a higher level of spiritual development. Continue reading “Chrism, Christ and Annointing”