January 16

Where did true death–the death that produces and induces in soul and body both temporal and eternal death–have its origin? Was it not in the realm of life? Thus was man, alas, at once banished from God’s paradise, for he had imbued his life with death and made it unfit for paradise.

Consequently true life–the life that confers immortality and true life on both soul and body–will have its origin here, in this place of death. If you do not strive here to gain this life in your soul, do not deceive yourself with vain hopes about receiving it hereafter, or about God then being compassionate towards you….

Woe to him who hereafter experiences the Lord’s wrath, who has not acquired in this life the fear of God and so come to know the might of His anger, who has not through his actions gained a foretaste of God’s compassion!

For the time to do all this is the present life. That is the reason why God has accorded us this present life, giving us a place for repentance. Were this not the case a person who sinned would at once be deprived of this life. For otherwise of what use would it be to him?

~St Gregory Palamas (Philokalia vol.4, pp. 298-299)

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