But someone might say, “Then, if heaven is so great, why don’t you all just go and kill yourselves, and pass over to your God right away, and not bother us anymore?”
I’ll tell you why we don’t kill ourselves—but why, when we are interrogated, we fearlessly confess.
We’ve been taught that God did not create the world for no reason, but for the sake of the human race, for he takes pleasure in those who imitate his attributes, and is displeased with those who embrace what is worthless, whether in word or in deed.
So if we all killed ourselves, we would become, at least as far as we were capable, the reason why no one should be born or taught the divine teachings, or even why the human race should not exist. In doing so, we would ourselves be acting in opposition to the will of God.
But when we are interrogated, we make no denial, first because we are not conscious of any evil, but count it impious not to speak the truth in everything— which we also know is pleasing to God—and also because we very much desire to free you from an unjust prejudice.
Besides that we don’t know if we will make it to heaven, this is upon God’s mercy, but we know that the time is given to us for repentance. So, since we have time which is one of the God’s greatest gifts to us, we must use it to repent more, to improve ourselves more, knowing that in this way God will be merciful to us, even if we are hell-worthy. That’s why we keep our mind in hell but we do not despair.
Based on Saint Justin Martyr, Saint Silouan the Athonite, Elder Sophronios (Sacharov) of Essex
In the photo, a moment from the Liturgy of the presanctified gifts.
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