April 6

Our mind is so darkened by the fall that unless we force ourselves to remember death we can completely forget about it. When we forget about death, then we begin to live on earth as if we were immortal, and we sacrifice all our activity to the world without concerning ourselves in the least either about the fearful transition to eternity or about our fate in eternity.

On the other hand, he who often remembers the death of the body rises from the dead in soul. He lives on earth like a stranger in an inn or like a prisoner in jail…before his eyes the gates into eternity are always open.

…he condemns no one, for he remembers that at the judgment of God such judgment will be passed on him as he passed here on his neighbors. He forgives everyone and everything, that he may himself obtain forgiveness and inherit salvation. He is indulgent in all, he is merciful in everything, that indulgence and mercy may be shown to him. He welcomes and embraces with joy every trouble or trial that comes to him as a toll for his sins in time, which frees him from paying a toll in eternity.

If the thought comes to him to be proud of his virtue, at once the remembrance of death rushes against this thought, puts it to shame, exposes the nonsense and drives it away.

~Ignatius Brianchaninov

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