The Shepherd, February 2006

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FROM THE FATHERS

“CALL TO MIND, brother, the Israelites in the desert, and how they were unable to endure the dark and obscurity, the sound of the trumpets, and the voice of the Lord speaking to them from the midst of the flames (Ex. 20). And they pleaded that the Voice of the Lord should not come nigh to them. For they were unable to endure it, and what was being done there, though He had not descended in wrath, neither had He spoken directly to them, but rather as though comforting them, He had let them know that God was with them. What then, dearest brethren, if they could not even with this alleviation endure His descent among them, when the heavens were not consumed with fire, nor the earth and all things upon the face of it? And there was no sound of trumpet, such as that future trumpet will make, to awaken all who from the beginning have slept. Nor had there then taken place any of these dreadful future events, and yet they could not endure it. But what shall we do, I ask you, when God will come down in anger, and dread wrath, and sit upon the Throne of His Glory, and summon to Him all the earth, from the rising of the sun to the setting thereof, and all the ends of the earth, so that He may judge His people, and render to each according to his works?”

Venerable Ephraim the Syrian, + 373 A.D.

“JUDGEMENT is in accord with grace; and as you have used what was given you, so shall the Judge judge you.”

Saint Basil the Great, +379 A.D.

“LET NO ONE hope for blessing if he has not wrought blessing.”

Saint John Chrysostom, + 407 A.D.

.D.“LET US with great seriousness reflect on this. For He Who mild of countenance ascended shall be terrible when He comes again, and whatsoever He has now commanded with mildness He shall then exact with sternness. So let no one waste this time of repentance allowed us. Let no one neglect to do all he can for his own salvation. The more we now demand of God’s patience, before the time of judgement, the more severe shall He be when when the time of judgement has come.” Saint Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome, + 604 A

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