are meant to prove your worthiness for the kingdom of God. But some are not
too strong to withstand these tests either because of weakness of will,
inadequacy of faith, attachment to this life on earth or, most serious of
all, through wandering from the path of truth. Remove this cowardly and
decadent state of mind.
had informed us of these trials and warned us that they would increase as
the end times approaches: "When these things happen, know that the
kingdom of God is close at hand." Only those who wish to remain in this
world will be frightened by these. The lovers of Christ will rejoice.
like Simeon. He was told he would not die before he had seen the Christ.
Upon seeing Mary and the child, he knew he would die. Yet he was filled with
joy about his imminent death. "Lord, now allow your servant to depart
in peace in accordance to your word, since my eyes have seen your
life on earth is made up of daily battles against the devil and all his
instruments. It is a battle against the desire for wealth, against
shamelessness, anger, ambition; against the vices of the flesh and the
enticements of this world. This struggle is unremitting and exhausting. When
one vice is overcome, another arises. Thus, when avarice is checked, lust
arises; if anger is controlled, pride arises.
wonder, with so many dangers for the soul, the saints desired and chose to
die and quicken their journey to Christ.
all the turmoil in the world, we should indeed rejoice when we or our loved
ones leave this world. . .of course, assuming we have lived good lives.
Thus, when Christ was about to leave and this saddened his apostles, He
rebuked them: "If you really love Me, you would rejoice since I am
going to the Father." The apostle adds, "To me, to live is Christ
and to die is gain." The gain is to be free from the chains of
this life, no longer exposed to sin and vices, to be free from tribulations
and the jaws of the devil.