Without being taught, says St. Hilary of Poitiers, we know that we are immortal. Nature teaches us that we were made for greater things than merely satisfying our earthly appetites.
I believe that the mass of mankind have rejected from themselves and censured in others this acquiescence in a thoughtless animal life, for no other reason than that nature herself has taught them that it is unworthy of humanity to believe that they are born only to gratify their greed and their laziness, and ushered into life for no high aim of glorious deed or fine accomplishment, and that this very life was granted without the power of progress towards immortality—a life, indeed, which then we should confidently assert did not deserve to be regarded as a gift of God, since, racked by pain and laden with trouble, it wastes itself upon itself from the blank mind of infancy to the wanderings of age.
I believe that human beings, prompted by nature herself, have raised themselves through teaching and practice to the virtues we call patience and temperance and forbearance, under the conviction that right living means right action and right thought, and that Immortal God has not given life only to end in death; for none can believe that the Giver of good has bestowed the pleasant sense of life just so it would be shaded by the gloomy fear of dying. –Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, 1.2
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Nature teaches me that I am destined for greatness—but am I living a thoughtless animal life instead?
Holy God, the Father of everything that is, accept my feeble prayer, and bring me to true knowledge of my immortal nature.
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