Tonight we began our discussion of Hypothesis VII on the many times that the souls of virtuous people are made cheerful at the time of death by some divine overshadowing.
What we find in these paragraphs and the stories that they tell of the experience of those dying being consoled by God, by a vision of angels, or by saints is a portrait of how God has transformed for us the experience of death. For those who draw close to Him in faith and have embraced his grace, the moment is transformed from one of fear or terror to a moment of deep consolation and the experience of the presence of God and of his love.
On another level, this speaks to us about the nature of the Incarnation itself. All that has been assumed has been redeemed. This includes the experience of suffering and death. For those who have faith, entering into these realities -whether our own or others - should be something that we do freely.
This is how a Christian is to love. We do not live in isolation from each other; we do not suffer alone or allow others to suffer and die alone. If God comes to the aid of his faithful in these stories, it is to show us what we are to do and be for others at the moment of their death. We are to love as He loves.We are to enter into the most fearful of experiences and grasp the hand of the person that God has put before us as He will one day take hold of our own.
Text of chat during the group:
00:13:27 Daniel Allen: What page are we on?
00:13:36 carolnypaver: 51
00:13:56 Daniel Allen: Thank you
00:33:28 carolnypaver: Some of us have no choice…
00:43:32 Jim Milholland: We are always looking to take another bite out of the proverbial apple of knowledge.
00:43:51 Eric Williams: Great way to put it!
00:45:05 Eric Williams: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
00:49:32 Ambrose Little: It’s a memorable anecdote that can make the deeper reflection stick more, though.
00:53:18 Eric Williams: This sort of reminds me of when Jesus told people to not touch Him or hold on to Him because He had yet to ascend. Perhaps we shouldn't see these dying words as treating the wife's touch as sinful or tempting the husband to sin. Rather, he desired to depart this world and join his Lord, and his wife mustn't cling to him, preventing his departure.
00:53:39 Ambrose Little: It’s a backhanded compliment for her. Lolz
01:09:11 Eric Williams: I've read or heard countless stories of Eastern saints from whom fragrant, often miraculously healing, myrrh flowed at death. Are there similar stories from the deaths of Western saints? Is it less common in the West, and if so, why? (This might be too much of a digression, which is why I opted to type rather than raise my hand to speak.)
01:21:06 carolnypaver: “The Fourth Wiseman” (movie)has a good depiction of the leper colony.
01:24:53 Jim Milholland: A pandemic of fear and complacency
01:25:12 Ambrose Little: I could yawn a lot more. :D
01:25:19 Edward Kleinguetl: "The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread" (Mother Teresa of Calcutta).
01:29:37 Eric Williams: The Evergetinos: Sponsored by Clorox(TM)
01:31:58 Ashley Kaschl: I think, too, the technology we have (while able to be used for good) gives the illusion of action and participation so it’s easy for people to grow complacent because they think they’re acting by watching, posting, etc.
01:32:06 iPad (32) jeane kish: Outstanding teaching by the Master, Fr. David, thank you!
01:32:34 Jim Milholland: Has the pandemic been a kind of asceticism too?
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