|My great-grandparents at rest at St. Tikhon's Monastery.|
So why did I pick death? A few reasons really.
- Everybody dies. I read the obits every day and that is the conclusion to which I have arrived. Old people, young people, people that had been sick, people that had, until their sudden demise, been healthy, wealthy people with large families and homeless people who had not a single person to claim them (only their names were known and no other information). As they say, the only two unavoidable things in life are "death and taxes", and death is certainly more interesting to talk about than taxes.
- Over the past 9 months I have known several people (including a child) that have died, so I have had it in my thoughts on a consistent basis.
- Christianity, at least traditional Christianity, is all about death. It is about Christ's death on the cross, and His resurrection. All of this is proclaimed every Sunday in traditional Christian churches and most especially celebrated on Easter. Without His death and resurrection, Jesus is just another man with high moral standards. So to truly call ourselves Christians, then our lives must also be about death. Baptism, the very first sacrament in a person's life, is the experience where one dies to the old world and rises out of the waters into the new life in Christ. "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ, have put on Christ" to quote St. Paul [Galatians 3:27 ] However this death doesn't end in baptism. To quote St. Paul again [1 Corinthians 15:31] "...I die daily". It's the daily renunciation of the crap and falsity that the world has to offer. Death every day. When this death is properly lived, it is real life, real living, no fear of physical death. Read the lives of the saints, they testify to this truth. Whether it is a saint martyred in the 1st century or 21st century, it is all the same beautiful story that this life of death worked to their salvation. (read the above page about salvation in case this is confusing to you).
- Being that Orthodox Christianity has been around for 2000 years, and death is the crux of the faith, there certainly isn't a lack of things written about it.
God-willing, I'll see you soon with Post 2.