Cell Notes
2011-09-18 03:29:44 (UTC)

The Afterlife

At a dinner a hierodeacon was forced to sit facing the noonday sun which hit him directly in the eyes. During a talk about the future life the hierodeacon argued, "Vladyko! If God is immeasurably merciful, then how can He deprive some of His heavenly kingdom?"
"And why are you fidgeting your head and not sitting still?" His Eminence asked him.
"The sun is shining directly in my eyes and does not give me rest," answered the hierodeacon.
"This then is the answer to your question," said Innocent. "God does not deprive unrepentant sinners of His heavenly kingdom, but they themselves cannot bear His light, as you cannot bear the light of the sun."

From the Life of Metropolitan Innocent of Moscow
(Orthodox Life, May - June, 1969)
I also maintain that those who are punished in Gehenna are scourged by the scourge of love. Nay, what is so bitter and vehement as the torment of love? I mean, those who have become conscious that they have sinned against love suffer greater torment from this than from any fear of punishment. For the sorrow caused in the heart by sin against love is more poignant than any torment. It would be improper for a man to think that sinners in Gehenna are deprived of the love of God. Love is the offspring of knowledge of the truth which, as is commonly confessed, is given to all. The power of love works in two ways: it torments sinners, even as happens here when a friend suffers from a friend; but it becomes a source of joy f or those who have observed its duties. Thus I say that this is the torment of Gehenna: bitter regret. But love inebriates the souls of the sons of Heaven by its charm.

St. Isaac the Syrian

"In the future life the Christian is not examined if he has renounced the whole world for Christ's love, or if he has distributed his riches to the poor or if he fasted or kept vigil or prayed, or if he wept and lamented for his sins, or if he has done any other good in this life, but he is examined attentively if he has any similitude with Christ, as a son does with his father."

St. Symeon the New Theologian

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