Sunday, August 15, 2021

Homily One on the Dormition of the Mother of God (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)


By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

I choose not a cheerful subject for this joyful day: I want to talk with you about death.

And more often we ought to talk about it, pious listeners. We ought not think we can run away from death; it's better to think about it. The more often we think about death, the less we will be afraid of it. It is precisely because we are too afraid of death, that we rarely think about it or think in the wrong way about it.

And truly, what is terrible about death, if you look at it from the best point of view - the way it should seen? Tell me, why are you so afraid of death? Because, you will say, I want to live, life has not bored me yet. Indeed, it is very natural for us to want to live: animals are irrational - and they do not like to die. But judge, will death take your life? After all, you will live after death. For what does it mean to die? To die is the same as going from an old, bad house to a new, good one: death is a means of moving from one place to another. What is so terrible about it?

You will say: I want to live on earth; here are my relatives, here are my friends, here are my pleasures, here everything is mine that I love so much. How can I not be afraid of death, which will take all this away from me? But judge, will death take everything away from you? Your relatives will be with you even after death, your friends too. Yes, those whom we now sincerely love, with whom it is pleasant for us to live now, we will not be parted from those even after death: death unites people who are united by mutual love even more closely. Do not grieve, compassionate mother, when separated from children, they will be with you there too. Do not lament, loving wife, about your spouse, you will be inseparable from him there too. Do not be sad you gentle friends, you will be friends there too. Yes, each of us at death can and should say to everyone: goodbye! As for worldly pleasures, which death takes from us, they are not worth talking about; after death there will be their own pleasures - such which only the soul can desire. After this, what is there to fear death?

You will say: I am afraid because I am a sinner, and sinners are in a bad state after death - their torment awaits them there. This reason for your fear is fundamental for sinners after death, indeed, it is a bad state. Indeed, listeners, how will we enter the next world with our sins? Sins here sometimes torment us, disturb us, and there they will not give us rest at all. Now we do not yet see them completely, but there they will appear in all their vileness. Now we don’t know many of our sins, and we don’t realize them, but there we will find out everything, all of them will come to memory and we will not be released from any of them. Therefore, the sinner, when remembering death, certainly has something to fear. But judge here too: should you be afraid of death? Regarding your sins, wash them with tears of repentance, smooth them away with good deeds, and do not be afraid of death. Yes, fear to sin, but there is nothing to be afraid of to die.

But you say: what am I to do? I am not afraid to sin, I don’t bring sincere repentance, I don’t do good deeds. How can I not be afraid of death? If you are this way, then I would even advise you to fear death; if you are definitely not afraid of sinning, that you do not bring repentance, that you don’t do good deeds, then tremble; the death of such sinners is fierce. Amen.


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