July 14, 2010

The Thought of Death is Like...

Tomb of Saladin in Damascus

The thought of death is like a downpour of cold rain, which extinguishes the fire of passions. The Psalmist David says: "For when he dies he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him" (Psalms 49:17).

Who would not be ashamed when he sometimes sees, even among the unbelievers, a better comprehension of our earthly nothingness than with some Christians?

When Caliph Saladin died, a crier [Telal] went before his coffin with a spear in his hand and, on the spear one of the emperor's shirts, and he cried out: "O great Saladin who conquered all of Asia and because of that caused many nations to tremble before him and who conquered emperors: behold of all his glory and of all his subjects he takes nothing with him except this miserable shirt."

- St. Nikolai Velimirovich