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"Now what?"

Now is the time. Let your Light shine. I reflected upon the day my life will end and I groaned when I saw the multitude of my transgressions and the heaviness of mine iniquities. I contemplated on the gift that is my sickness, the gift of knowing my mortality, my finiteness. There is still time. Time to repent.

Holy Father Ephraim the Syrian

And when I considered how my errors will be revealed for all to see, I shudder. There, will be no place for repentance, tears, and prayers; instead, everyone will receive his reward according to his labors, recompense according to his deeds; and neither weeping nor suffering will incline the just Judge to mercy.

Show me Thy kind mercy O Lover of mankind!

In the day when the graves of the dead are opened, the trumpet will sound. Its voice will thunder, great trembling and awe will embrace the universe, all the angels will descend on Thy command to separate the good from the bad, clouds of fire will appear and carry off the pure bodies of the saints. In that day, may Thy compassion be shown also to me, that I might stand at Thy right hand, O good Lord, and obtain mercy!

In my thoughts I descended into into the graves to see our corruption, and when I had examined what lay therein I cried:

Turn not away from Thy servant, O Lord!

Resurrect me who am perishing, and I will praise Thy dominion; overthrow the Evil One who rejoiced over me in my day of sorrow and have mercy on me, for I have hoped in Thee.

In the end a merciless judgement awaits those who have sinned and not repented of their wicked deeds.

But those who have acted righteously and kept the commandments of their Lord shall receive from Him the good things of heaven and inherit eternal life. There shall the righteous rejoice over their labors, the saints shall delight in the rewards they will receive. Lodge all of us in Thy bridal chamber, O Lord, Who art kindhearted toward sinners.

+ Glory to God for All Things +

Excerpted by Bishop Theophan the Recluse from the works of our Holy Father Ephraim the Syrian


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Glory forever!

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