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DEATH




THE THOUGHT OF DEATH

 

The man who lives daily with the thought of death is a saint. But not every desire for death is good. A sinner usually prays humbly for death; but the man who does not want to change his ways may, in sheer despair, actually long for death. And there are some who are completely insensitive; they have no fear of death for a while. 

 

And so it is asked: "If the thought of death is good for us, why has God concealed from us the day of our death?" Because if we knew when we would die, we would lead sinful lives up to the end  with the intent of being good at the last moment, not realizing that our bad lives will confirm us in evil up to the last moment without any possibility of repentance. 

 

When you lament over your sins, do not entertain the thought that God is so good that He will save you at all cost. This thought is good for those who easily despair. But this thought diverts you from discovering your sins and removes the fear of God (which removes all fears). 

 

The man who wants to constantly think of death and God's judgment and who, at the same time, gives in to worldly distraction and cares, is like someone trying to swim and clap his hands. The remembrance of death reduces the desire to be involved in the cares of the world. 

 

John Climacus

 

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THE THOUGHT OF DEATH REMOVES ALL FEARS

 

A monk once said that the thought of death is the only consolation for a human body that is destined to die and decay. And another monk, Hesychius, said that the thought of death will prevent you from ever committing a sin. 

 

The constant remembrance of death is a gift from God. He often denies it to those burying someone in the cemetery, but gives it to those alone in their rooms. It is a sign that the Christian soul loves nothing of the things of the world. 

 

 

 

 

 

(08-26-02)

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