Sunday, 21 November 2010

To live is Christ, to die is gain

"I shall soon be far away from those I love. I shall soon be cut off from the brothers and sisters whom God has given me. I shall be driven by evil men from the place where God has called me to live and work. I confess that I am sad. I may even say that I am bitter. I will add that I am angry. But I do not despair. On the contrary I feel hope. The source of my hope is the knowledge that, though I shall be separated from my brothers and sisters in body, I shall not be separated in spirit. The proof of this is in Christ. The first apostles knew Him in body; and when He was crucified, theyr feared that they would be separated from Him for ever. But as He Himself had prophesied, the bodily separation brought them even closer in spirit. After His death they knew Him in the very depth of their hearts. Equally, when I am separated in body from my brothers and sisters, I shall be even closer in spirit; I shall know them even more deeply than I know them at present. In this knowledge my sadness will melt away, my bitter emotions will grow sweet again, and my anger will be soothed. Nothing can destroy love which is rooted and founded in Christ."
St. John Chrysostom

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