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Eternal Rest

“Eternal rest lies before those who have struggled through the present life observant of the laws, a rest not given in payment for a debt owed for their works but provided as a grace of the munificent God for those who have hoped in Him.” (St. Basil the Great)

“For Christians what true rest is their other than deliverance from the sinful passions and the fullest active indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the purified heart? And the apostle again impels his readers toward this by referring to faith: ’Let us then draw near with a true heart and in the full assurance of faith, our hearts cleansed of an evil conscience (Heb. 10::22)…Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” According to Saint John Chrysostom, we find ourselves caught between this invitation from Christ and the weight of our sins, which are “heavy and hard to bear.” Understanding our spiritual location is crucial, for when we become conscious of the burden of our sin, we know where to find relief: we embrace the Lord Jesus’ offer of rest for the soul (Matthew 11:29).” (St. Makarios of Egypt, Dynamis 12/5/2020)

“Christ and His Church offer salvation, eternal life, and the hope of the Resurrection. The church is not a type of psychiatric medication or a fabrication meant to calm our existential crises. It is the place where we experience the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven and God’s love for mankind through the ultimate expression of gratitude in the Eucharist. It is in this experience, in conjunction with the best of what modern medicine and therapy have to offer, that we find rest from the worry of this world. And, as we find peace, those around us will encounter Christ’s saving rest as well...true peace and rest lie not in outward things...And therefore we must consider and see what is that peace which Christ left to His disciples at the last, when He said: “My peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.” We may perceive that in these words Christ did not mean a bodily and outward peace...Christ Himself said: “In this world you shall have tribulation.” But Christ meant that true, inward peace of the heart, which begins here, and endures forever hereafter.” ((Marcus Geromes M.Div, LMFT, Theologia Germanica)

“That the absence of utility is a term of abuse is a profound comment on our time. Stressed, anxious, and sick from the fatigue of life, we find ourselves required to give justification for our leisure. I am “charging my batteries,” we say, giving work the ultimate priority. We only rest in order to work harder. There are many useless things that mark our lives: beauty, rest, joy. Indeed, it would seem that many of the things that we value most are, for the greater part, quite useless. What is it, to be useful? The useful thing (or person) gains its value from something other than itself. It is a tool. I value the tool because it allows me to do something else. In many cases, when the usefulness of the tool is expired, it is simply thrown away. In a throw-away society we slowly drown in a sea of obsolescence, surrounded by things for which we no longer have any use.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Eternal rest is not eternal relaxation or some prolonged state of doing nothing or being bored. It is a place of complete interior peace but it doesn’t mean inactivity. Imagine going through a whole day free from worry and anxiety; free from a to-do list; free from the stress of tomorrow’s impending tasks; free from sickness and poor health; free from financial concern; and free from anything that feels like a burden. Any moments of peace we have now are glimpses of His promised rest, His peace He wishes for us now and forever.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)


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