Answers of the Great Masters of the Spiritual Life to the
Questions of Their Disciples.
Disciple: Fear of death is common to all men.
How do you reduce this fearful feeling?
Master: When God's graces increase in you,
death becomes of no account to you.
Is fear of God and dislike for suffering the same?
Yes, in fact, suffering is referred to as dying slowly; and if
your suffering is for God's sake, it is considered slow martyrdom or
So fear of death and dislike for sufferings are signs of the absence
Yes. And the presence of graces looks at everything unpleasant to
the body and other causes of sufferings as nothing compared with the
hope of heaven.
What else happens to a soul with decreasing graces?
Profane knowledge becomes for him more important than faith; trust
in God is not present in all he does. And he begins to fear, not
only death but, everyone who can hurt him.
Isaac of Syria