Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Christian Heritage - November 2 - All Souls

"It is inevitable that we should be sad when those we love depart from us by dying. Although we know they are not leaving us for ever, that they have but gone a little ahead of us, that we who remain will follow them, nevertheless our nature shrinks from death, and when it takes a loved one we are filled with sorrow simply because of our love for that person. That is why the apostle did not tell us that we should not be saddened, but that we should not be saddened in the same way as those who have no hope. In the death of those who are close to us we experience both sadness at the necessity of losing them, and hope of getting them back. By the former we are distressed, by the latter consoled; in the one our weakness touches us, in the other faith restores us. In our loss the human condition mourns, but through hope the divine promise heals."

Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430), Sermon 172, 1

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