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Reflections on death,

Demonís snares, gift of teaching

50. Truly, many virtuous people incorporate within themselves deep reflections on death. Reflections on death lead to abstinence, assist prayers, create tears, protect the heart and assist introspection. In turn, these virtues give birth to a deep fear of God and the heart is cleansed of passionate thoughts (Blessed Philotheos of Sinai).

50. What inexpressible solace is experienced, when the soul separates from the body ó shedding it like clothing ó assured in its salvation. Because, as though already commanding future blessings, it leaves the body without sorrow, going with peace to its Angel that descends toward it with joy. Together, they pass heavenly expanses unimpeded, not subjected to any attacks from the demons but ascending in joy with boldness and cries of gratitude, arriving to worship the Creator and receive its determination to be placed in the assembly of souls ó similar to it in virtuousness ó until the General Resurrection (Blessed Theognostos).

51. Just as satan wars against God through us, by inciting us to violate Godís commandments and thereby impeding the realization of His will; so does God destroy the sly oneís ruinous plans by assisting us to fulfil His holy will, expressed in His Divine and life-giving commandments. Thus, through human infirmity God suppresses thoughts of theomachy from the enemy (Blessed Philotheos of Sinai).

53. It is dangerous to attempt prematurely to teach your neighbor so as not to fall into that, which you are trying to warn him of. He who sins cannot teach others how not to sin (Abba Isaiah).

Missionary Leaflet # EA11
Copyright © 2001 Holy Trinity Orthodox Mission
466 Foothill Blvd, Box 397, La Canada, Ca 91011
Editor: Bishop Alexander (Mileant)

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