Writing to a widowed noblewoman, Theodoret tells her that reason will be a consolation in her loss. Even the philosophers knew by reason that life is transitory, and we know by revelation that there will be a resurrection.
I would have written long before if I had heard of the death of your grace’s honorable husband. I’m not writing now to lull your great sorrow to sleep with soothing words—those are not necessary. If you have learned the wisdom of the philosophers and think about what this life is, you find reason strong enough to stand up to and break the rising tide of grief. And even while you reminisce about your long companionship, reason recognizes the divine laws and battles sorrow’s tears with the course of nature, the law of God, and the hope of the resurrection.
Since I know all this, I have no need to use many words. I only beg you to use your good sense in this hour of need. Think of the death of the departed as nothing more than a long journey, and wait for the promise of our God and Savior. For he who promised the resurrection cannot lie: he is the fountain of truth. –Theodoret, Letter 7
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
When I grieve, do I pray to God to strengthen my faith?
All-powerful God, you give us new life, and perfect joy to your saints in heaven. Strengthen my hope that all those who have departed from me will share in the resurrection of your Son.
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