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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