The Role of Death Within the Divine Economy of God

The faithful praying for the departed

By: St. Theophilus of Antioch

It was not that the tree of knowledge contained anything evil, but that through disobedience man acquired pain, suffering and sorrow, and finally fell victim to death. And in so doing, God conferred a great benefit upon the human being. He did not let him remain for ever in a state of sin, so that through this punishment he might expiate his sin in a fixed period of time and after chastisement might later be recalled.

Theophilus of Antioch To Autolcycus 2.25-26. Ed. and trans. R. M. Grant, OECT (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970).


1 Response to “The Role of Death Within the Divine Economy of God”

  1. 1 Отец Андрей April 28, 2010 at 12:26 am

    …..”In man’s possession and exercise of free will we find by no means a complete explanation but at least the beginnings of an answer to our problem. Why has God allowed the angels? and man to sin? Why does God permit evil and suffering? We answer: Because he is a God of love. Love implies sharing, and love also implies freedom. As a Trinity of love God desired to share his life with created persons made in his image, who would be capable of responding to him freely and willingly in a relationship of love. Where there is no freedom, there can be no love. Complulsion excludes love; God can do everything except compel us to love him. God, therefore-desiring to share his love-created, not robots who would obey him mechanically, but angles and human beings endowed with free choice. And thereby, to put the matter in an antropomrphic way, God took a risk: for with this gift of freedom there was given also the possibility of sin. But he who takes no risks does not love.
    With freedom there would be no sin. But without freedom man would not be in God’s image; without freedom man would not be capable of entering into communion with God in a relationship of love” from the book of Kallistos Ware: The Orthodox Way
    Never forget that: The further the soul advances, the greater are the adversaries against which it must contend.God Bless you my dear!

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St. Poemen the Great

"A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable."

St. Gregory the Great

"Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die."

St. Paisius Velichkovsky

"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins."

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“Prayer does not consist merely in standing and bowing your body or in reading written prayers….it is possible to pray at all times, in all places, with mind and spirit. You can lift up your mind and heart to God while walking, sitting, working, in a crowd and in solitude. His door is always open, unlike man’s. We can always say to Him in our hearts Lord , Lord have mercy.”

St. John of Kronstadt

The candles lit before the icons of the Theotokos are a symbol of the fact that She is the Mother of the Unapproachable Light, and also of Her most pure and burning love for God and Her love for mankind.

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