Friday, November 25, 2016

Remembrance of Death

The Christian soul that lives with a profound hope of life beyond the grave and the sweet anticipation of the most desirable Paradise, attempts to maintain a vivid memory of death. The Wisdom of Sirach says: "In all you do, remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin" (7,36). The Christian knows that he will live after death and, therefore, should constantly be aware of his present mortality, keeping before him his exodus from the present world, the Second Coming, the future judgment and his entry into endless eternity. For this reason St. Gregory the Theologian often repeats the saying of Plato which suggests that the present life ought to be "a meditation upon death." He advised his friend Philagrios to live "instead of the present the future and to make this life a meditation and practice of death." [1] To the priest Photios he wrote: "Our cares and our attention are concentrated on one thing only our departure from this world. And for this departure we prepare ourselves and gather our baggage as prudent travelers would do." [2] Also, St. Athanasios advises in his treatise On Virginity: "Recall your exodus every hour; keep death before your eyes on a daily basis. Remember before whom you must appear." [3] St. John of Sinai advises: "Let the memory of death sleep and awake with you." [4]

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Source:  Nikolaos Vassiliadis,, opened 25 Nov. 2016

Since it is doubtful that many in the [u]nited States have spent much time at all thinking about the day of their death or any other Christian virtue during this week of gluttony of all sorts, we offer a piece of music to help call everyone back to reality:  a composition inspired by the Southern writer Edgar Allen Poe’s short story The Masque of the Red Death.  Our thanks to the folks at The Imaginative Conservative for posting it in one of their Top Ten music lists:


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð!

Anathema to the Union!

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