Monday, February 9, 2015

Remember the second coming, and be sobered

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Lift your eyes to Heaven, when it, like a clean mirror, gloriously illumines the earth with its stars, and say in awe: If the stars shine with such glory, then how much more so will the righteous and the saints who have done the holy will of God shine with the inexpressible light of saving glory when the Lord comes.
Having called to remembrance that awesome coming, shudder in body and soul, and with heartfelt agony say to yourself: What sort of person will I, a sinner, show myself to be in that terrible hour? How will I stand before the throne of the awesome Judge? How could I, who am dissolute have a place among those who are perfect? Or how could I, who am a goat, stand among the sheep at Christ’s right hand? Or how could I, who am fruitless, be numbered among the saints, who have here brought forth the fruits of truth?
The martyrs will their torments, the ascetics their good works; but what will I have to show but my apathy and my incessant indulgence?
O sinful soul, shameless soul, o soul which has always hated the God-pleasing way of life! How long will you delight in your wretched addiction to evil thoughts? What do you wait for in your apathy?
Do you think that the Judge will be late in coming? He will not tarry; rather, His coming will be like terrible lightning from the heavens.
Try to be prepared for that terrible hour, that you might not then weep unto the ages.
St Ephraim the Syrian, 4th century

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