Remember death, and live; Church Fathers: Day 314

When you pile up earthly wealth and plunder your neighbors, says Aphrahat, you are forgetting that you must die, and you cannot use your wealth on the day of judgment.

Therefore, you children of Adam, all of you over whom Death has ruled, be mindful of Death and remember life; and do not break the command­ment as your first father did.

Kings, crowned with the diadem, remember Death, which will take away the diadems that are set upon your heads, and he shall be king over you till the time when you shall rise again for the judgment. You who are haughty and uplifted and proud, remember Death, which will destroy your haughtiness, and dissolve the limbs, and separate the joints, and the body and its forms shall be given over to corruption.

You who are rich, remember Death; for when the time comes and you draw near to him there, you shall not use your wealth and possessions. He will not place a gourmet feast before you, nor will he prepare for you a rich banquet. There the bodies of the gluttons who used to live delicately shall be corrupted. The worm shall consume their bodies, and they shall clothe themselves in dark­ness over their fair apparel.

You who are rapacious and extortioners and plunderers of your fellows, remember Death, and do not multiply your sins; for in that place sinners do not repent; and he who has plundered his neighbors’ goods shall not possess his own, but shall go to the place where no one shall make use of wealth. And he shall come to nothing and pass away from his honor, but his sins shall be laid up against the day of judgment.

–Aphrahat, Demonstration on Death and the Last Days, 6

IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .

Do I rely too much on material possessions and not enough on faith?

CLOSING PRAYER

Praise to Christ, who stayed awake and put to sleep death that held us captive. Praise to Christ who went to sleep and chased our deep sleep away.


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