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Beyond Our Present Life


Saturday (Commemoration of the Dead). [I Thess. 4:13–17; John 5:24–30] Now the Holy Church directs our attention beyond the borders of our present life, to our fathers and brothers who have passed on from here. The Church hopes that by re‐minding us of their state (which we ourselves shall not escape), to pre‐pare us to spend Cheese-fare week properly, as well as Great Lent which follows. Let us listen to our mother the Church; and commemo‐rating our fathers and brothers, let us take care to prepare ourselves for our passing over to the other world. Let us bring to mind our sins and mourn them, setting out in the future to keep ourselves pure from any defilement. For nothing un‐clean will enter the Kingdom of God; and at the judgement, nobody unclean will be justified. After death you cannot expect purifica‐tion. You will remain as you are when you cross over. You must pre‐pare your cleansing here. Let us hurry, for who can predict how long one will live? Life could be cut off this very hour. How can we appear unclean in the other world? Through what eyes will we look at our fathers and brothers who will meet us? How will we answer their questions: “What is this badness in you? What is this? And what is this?” What shame will cover us! Let us hasten to set right all that is out of order, to arrive at least some‐what tolerable and bearable in the other world.

Saint Theophan the Recluse