Thursday Nov 17, 2022
The Ladder of Divine Ascent - Chapter V: On Repentance, Part IV and Chapter VI: On Remembrance of Death, Part I
We take a step now with Saint John that one likely would not consider as essential - The Remembrance of death. John begins by makes some important distinctions for us. There is a fear of death that is rooted in its very nature; the loss of life and the end of life as we know it because of the Fall. There is also a kind of terror of death that is rooted in unrepented sins. Focus upon God and his love, a repentant spirit, drives out fear from the human heart. At one point John describes it as a “fearless fear”. We acknowledge our own mortality, the brevity of this life, the weight and significance of our actions; however, in light of our relationship with Christ and the conquering of death through the resurrection, the mindfulness of death is something that always leads to hope. Our mindfulness of our mortality sharpens our focus upon what has value and weight. The deeper and more perfect faith becomes, the more we are going to long to be with Christ in such a way that knows of no impediment and no limitation. Of course there are going to be those who are incorrigible; those so deeply rooted in the things of this world and the pursuit of satisfying their own desires, that the notion of remembering death seems cruel to them or meaningless. For Christians, however, it becomes the path to virtue and once we have tasted it, experienced the disciplines that surround the remembrance of death, then our hearts begin to be filled with joy. Ultimately this is where John is leading us; from the sorrow and mourning of our sin to the fruit of repentance - joy!
Text of chat during the group:
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