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Friday. [II Cor. 4:13–18; Matt. 24:27–33, 42–51] Watch; for ye know not, what hour your Lord doth come. If only this were remembered, there would be no sinners. But it is not re?membered, although everyone knows that it is unquestionably true. Even the strictest ascetics were not strong enough to easily keep this in mind, and made efforts to fix it in their consciousness so that it would not leave — one kept a coffin in his cell, another begged his co-as?cetics to ask about his coffin and grave, another kept pictures of death and judgment, another in oth?er ways. If death does not touch a soul, the soul does not remember it. But in no way can what immediate?ly follows death not touch a soul; a soul cannot but be concerned about this, since it is the judgment of its fate for eternal ages. Why does a soul not remember this? It deceives itself that death will come not soon, and that perhaps somehow things won’t go badly for us. How bitter! It goes without saying that a soul which abides in such thoughts is careless and self-indulgent. So, how can it think that judgment will go favorably for it? No, one must be?have like a student who is facing an exam: no matter what he does, the exam does not leave his head; such remembrance does not allow him to waste even a minute in vain, and he uses all his time to prepare for the exam. When will we acquire a mindset like this!
Saint Theophan the Recluse