Wednesday, December 12, 2007

St. Isaac of Syria on Preparation for the Day of Judgement

When you approach your bed, say to it: "This very night, perchance, you will be my tomb, O bed; for I know not whether tonight, in place of a transient sleep, the eternal sleep of the future will be mine." And so, while you still have legs, follow the path of doing, before you are tied by bonds that can never be severed. While you still have hands, crucify yourself in prayer before death comes. While you still have eyes, fill them with tears, before they are covered by dust. As a rose wilts at a breath of the wind, so at a little puff on even one of the elements of which you are composed you will die. Establish, O man, in your heart the thought that instant departure confronts you, and constantly say to yourself: "There, already, at the door is the messenger come for me. Why am I idle? My removal is for ever; there will be no return." - St. Isaac of Syria

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