Monday, June 9, 2014

Mercy (Monday Morning in the Desert)

Yesterday, I prayed at the bedside of a family member who is dying.  The liturgical prayers of the Church which commend a dying person to God are quite beautiful, but it is hard to appreciate their beauty under the circumstances. 

There is one thing that those prayers have in common: mercy.  In the Church, we can debate for days, months, years, or even millenia about beliefs and doctrines about God, but in the end, on our deathbeds, what we cling to is God's mercy. So, today's quote is from Elder Epiphanios of Mount Athos:

"I am not afraid of death.  Not, of course, because of my works, but because I believe in God's mercy."

(From p. 73 of "Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit: The Lives & Counsels of Contemporary Elders of Greece" by Herman Middleton).

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