February 1

As St John Chrysostom says, “In order to prevent the human intellect from thinking that it is God, God has subjected it to ignorance and forgetfulness, so that in this way it may acquire humility.” He also says that the Creator willed that there should be a separation in this natural intermixture of soul and body. The deiform soul, as St John Klimakos says, either ascends upward to heaven, or goes downward to Hades, while the earthly body returns to the earth from which it was taken. But through the grace of our Saviour Jesus Christ these two separated elements are once more joined together at His second coming, so that each of us may receive the due reward for his works.

Who can grasp but an inkling of this mystery without being astonished? God raises man again from the earth after he has committed so many terrible crimes, despising the divine commandments, and He bestows on man the same immortality that he possessed originally, even though man has disobeyed the commandment which preserves him from death and corruption, and in his arrogance has drawn death upon himself.

~St Peter of Damaskos

 

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