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Death


“It is the clear teaching of Christ that the souls of the faithful who have departed this life are sustained before the face of God in anticipation of the final joy of the resurrection…The power of death has been destroyed and we now “live in the state of tension between the victory won and that yet to be won” when Christ comes again and restores all as it was meant to be.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 22:23-33)

"Many of us live in a death-denying culture. People do not want to talk about death or even think about it, as though pretending it will never happen can somehow stop its inevitability. While phrases such as “death comes to us all” and “death is a natural part of life” have become clichés, deep down many behave as though death only happened to other people— people they do not know or like or care about. When a loved one dies, even at a ripe old age, the faith of some Christians is shaken. This is because we are so busy driving the remembrance of death from our minds that we actually forget it is a certain and unavoidable fact." (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“Most Americans find the inevitability of death particularly difficult to face. We’ve become a people that eschew traditional funerals, preferring to “celebrate” the life of our loved one while disposing of the body and banning any sign of death from the memorial service. Yet our own eventual death is the very thing we should be thinking about if we want to be prepared for eternity…Death does not separate us from those who’ve gone on before us, for in Christ there is no death.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“In arming His disciples against the power of this last enemy, He did not deliver His teaching merely by verbal precepts; nor did He try to prove the soul’s immortality by persuasive and probable arguments; but He displayed to them in His own person a real victory over death.” (Eusebius of Caesarea)

“For Christianity help is not the criterion. Truth is the criterion. The purpose of Christianity is not to help people by reconciling them with death, but to reveal the Truth about life and death in order that people may be saved by this Truth. Salvation, however, is not only not identical with help, but is, in fact, opposed to it. Christianity quarrels with religion and secularism not because they offer “insufficient help,” but precisely because they “suffice,” because they “satisfy” the needs of men. If the purpose of Christianity were to take away from man the fear of death, to reconcile him with death, there would be no need for Christianity, for other religions have done this, indeed, better than Christianity. And secularism is about to produce men who will gladly and corporately die—and not just live—for the triumph of the Cause, whatever it may be. Christianity is not reconciliation with death. It is the revelation of death, and it reveals death because it is the revelation of Life. Christ is this Life. And only if Christ is Life is death what Christianity proclaims it to be, namely the enemy to be destroyed, and not a “mystery” to be explained.” (Father Alexander Schmemann)

#OrthodoxStudyBible #ArchimandriteVassiliosPapavassiliou #AbbotTryphon #EusebiusofCaesarea #FatherAlexanderSchmemann

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