Monday, July 09, 2007

Time of Recollection

Remedies against sin.

After meditation on sin we need to think on remedies to overcome sin. What can help us? The Holy Spirit gives answer: "In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin" (Ecclesiasticus 7:40). Therefore we will focus today on death, the first of last things. In particular we will consider what happens to the body after death. We can imagine our body as the vessel standing on the precious golden base, the soul. At the moment of death the base is simply removed, the body alone will soon degrade into horrible deformation:
"For when a man shall die, he shall inherit serpents, and beasts, and worms" (Ecclesiasticus 10:11). In other words, the soul is like a building in construction and the body is its scaffolding that must be pulled down when construction is completed. Remarkably, how many sins are committed during life to satisfy the body's passions and desires. During our time on earth we hope so much in others, we care about families and friends, we respectfully bow before those in power, and we even sometimes consent to sin to get their approval! In contrary to what we read in obituaries, all is usually fairly quickly forgotten after death, the grave, dead person buried there, all connections, family ties, according to old rule - what is out of sight is also out of heart: "One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh" (Ecclesiastes 1:4).
Sacred Scriptures say about the just: "Their bodies are buried in peace" (Ecclesiasticus 44:14) - because glories of resurrection await them. In contrary, bodies of sinners will meet opposite end, they: "shall seek death, and shall not find it: and they shall desire to die, and death shall fly from them" (Apocalypse 9:6). How foolish therefore are those who defile and abuse their own bodies with sin, who neglect to subdue their bodies through mortification. Full of wisdom are words of St Paul and we should do our best to remember them: "So do you also reckon, that you are dead to sin, but alive unto God, in Christ Jesus our Lord. Let no sin therefore reign in your mortal body, so as to obey the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of iniquity unto sin; but present yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of justice unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you; for you are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. (Romans 6:11-15).

Picture thanks to generosity of BellatorDei from forum