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The eternal life

 

 The eternal life

Do not forget your goal, my child. Look into heaven and see the beauty that awaits us. What are the present, earthly things? Aren’t they but ashes and dust and a dream? Don’t we see that everything here is subject to decay? Whereas things above are everlasting, the kingdom of God is endless, and blessed is he who will dwell in it, for he will behold the glory of His divine face!

My child, do not forget that we are in this world only temporarily and that our life dangles by a thread and that all the desirable things in the world are vain. So, whoever despises the vain things of the world—in other words, does not passionately desire them—will participate in the eternal good things.

So, when we have this knowledge of the truth, naturally we shall turn the eyes of our soul at every moment towards the eternal life, towards the heavenly Jerusalem, where the choirs of angels chant godly canticles of ineffable sweetness and wisdom. Oh, my children, how much glory your souls will have when after death they ascend to the heavens and are numbered with the angels in heaven!

Let us glorify the risen Lord, Who counted us worthy to celebrate His holy Resurrection. Let us pray that He will also count us worthy to celebrate the eternal Sabbath in the heavens, in the new Jerusalem, in the eternal joy. “And no one will take this joy away from you (Jn. 16:22).” Indeed, my child, for earthly joy is followed by sorrows which can annihilate it, whereas heavenly joy is not, because it flows continuously as if from an inexhaustible and life-giving spring.

Let us compel ourselves in our Christian duties in order to be able to celebrate the eternal Pascha* close to our Christ and see Him face to face for our blessed enjoyment, without it being interrupted anymore by trials and despair.

 

*Pascha

Pascha literally means “passover.” It is the celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection, known in Western Christianity as Easter.

 

From Counsels from the Holy Mountain: Selected from the Letters and Homilies of Elder Ephraim of Arizona