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St Peter of Damascus: I weep and grieve when I think of death and see man’s beauty...

I weep and grieve when I think of death and see man’s beauty, created by God in His own image, lying in the grave, ugly, abject, its physical form destroyed.

What is this mystery that has befallen us? 
How have we been given over to corruption? 
How have we been yoked to death?

Truly it is by God’s command, as it is written. Ah, what will I do at the moment of my death, when the demons encircle my unhappy soul, bearing the indictment of the sins I have committed, consciously or unconsciously, in word, act and thought, and demanding from me my defense? But alas, even without any other sin, I am already condemned-and rightly so-for not having kept the commandments-Tell me, my wretched soul, where are your baptismal promises?

What has happened to your covenant with Christ and your renunciation of Satan? Where is your keeping of God’s commandments, your imitation of Christ through the virtues of body and soul? Because of this you were called a Christian. What has happened to your profession of the monastic habit? Should you blame bodily weakness, where is the faith that casts all care upon the Lord, the faith by which, even had it been no bigger than a mustard seed, you would have been able to move mountains (cf. Matt. 17:20)? Where is the complete repentance that repels every evil word or action?

St Peter of Damascus 
Book1 A Treasury of Divine Knowledge 
The Third Stage of Contemplation

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