“All we do is dead — only the work we do on our heart remains.” (Fr Sophrony)
Man wanted to become God … not with love and divine submission.
Passions tempt to extinguish even the memory of God.
After the Fall, our struggle is centered on survival.
If life ends with death — nothing has any meaning.
Mindfulness of death = “all is vanity.”
[Not mindfulness of merely dying — a reality which, my words, is not salvific.]
Man projects his despair onto all creation — when all seems bereft (“all is vanity”) — this is a step toward salvation (mindfulness of death).
Mindfulness of death becomes the possibility of life.
Death, which is a punishment for sin, becomes a step toward reunion of the faculties and life with God.
Self denial, coupled with mindfulness of death, is best suited for prayer.
Our sojourn on this earth is to learn how to die. Yet, our life here prepares us for everything except the end.
Our manner of death is unimportant; how to approach it is.
These notes were taken during the annual Clergy Retreat for the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America, February 6-9, 2007. The retreat was led by Archimandrite Zacharias of the Stavropegic Monastery of St John the Baptist in Tolleshunt Knights-by-Maldon, Essex, U.K. These are my notes and were filtered through my poor faculties. Any and all errors theological are mine. Forgive me.
UPDATE: Listen to the entire talk — CDs now available!