You see how much we must be concerned by the issue of death and judgement! We have no idea if our departure from this world is not this year. The activity of the man`s heart is judged in every moment. We sleep. Do we know if we are going to wake up again? We have a very recent example – the earthquakes. How many earthquakes crushed thousands of men! We read about so many terrible disasters in the newspapers ! Those who were crushed and killed had they ever thought that they were going to suffer such things? Of course not.
We must meditate upon these things too about ourselves. How happy will be the industrious man! We are afraid indeed because our faith is weak and we don`t know many things from those appertaining to God. Even in the patristic stories we see some great hermits were terribly afraid and ran away at the news that they were to be attacked by robbers.
`What about you, abba, are you afraid?`
`I`m not afraid of them but of the pride I will have not running but seeing my brothers running and hiding themselves.
Of course we don`t protect ourselves from danger because we don`t want to be attacked by pride, but because we haven`t overcome our human helplessness and our conscience doesn`t assure us at all that when death comes we will have the courage and hope that we have done in life everything should have been done for our salvation. We could have done and still can do many more things, and I refer here at the spiritual ones. But we don`t do them because of idleness and recklessness which are a scheming of the devil who steals our time.
This precious time, this currency has an unimaginable value when someone uses it for acquiring precious things. This is the money God gave us to gain the eternal life.
Time is very precious for those who lose it for very long years. Tomorrow it will come the moment when they seek it and wish to get back a few more minutes from those years they have lost in wickedness and sins to be able to tell God in these last moments to be forgiven like the robber from the cross who before leaving this life cried loudly: `My Lord remember me when You come into Your kingdom.`
The Holy Fathers say about that man who tries in his last moments of life to remember his deeds that he will hear the angels telling him: `Now are you concerned about the eternal life? Now when the sun has set, you worry? When the sun was up on the sky and lit the whole world where were you? What were you doing then? Now did you begin to worry about afterlife and about Judgment? Now everything is over, the door is closed. No matter how much you will knock, it won`t open.`
It`s exactly what the Holy Gospel says about the foolish virgins. They didn`t care when it was right to do it and when the Groom came it was too late. In the same way we are wasting our time. It flies away and we don`t pay any attention to that. The demon is so sly that he robs us of this precious currency of time, so on that moment we shall find ourselves very poor while other people with divine wisdom will have precious things in their bags. They would have bought gold, diamonds, precious things, suitable for the Kingdom of God. They will be worthy of many praises. The angels will sing songs of glory for them and will celebrate them. While for wretched souls like me the angels will grieve a lot. For they are angels and care so much about our salvation and they are pained and cry for men when they don`t strive to save their souls
Excerpt from the book The Art of Salvation published by Evanghelismos.