Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Augustine: the necessity of death

Wednesday, October 7, 2020
    Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
    —2 Corinthians 5:1 (NIV)
    It is necessary to die, but nobody wants to; you don’t want to, but you are going to, willy-nilly. A hard necessity that is, not to want something which cannot be avoided. If it could be managed, we would much rather not die; we would like to become like the angels by some other means than death. “We have a building from God,” says St. Paul, “a home not made with hands, everlasting in heaven. For indeed we groan, longing to be clothed over with our dwelling from heaven; provided, though we be found clothed, and not naked. For indeed we who are in this dwelling place groan, being burdened; in that we do not wish to be stripped, but to be covered over, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” We want to reach the kingdom of God, but we don’t want to travel by way of death. And yet there stands Necessity saying: “This way, please.” Do you hesitate, man, to go this way, when this is the way th at God came to you?
    ... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), “Exposition II, Sermon I on Psalm 30” in Expositions on the Book of Psalms, v. I, Oxford: Parker, 1847, p. 248-249 (see the book)
    See also 2 Cor. 5:1-4; Gen. 3:19; Deut. 31:14; Ps. 31:1-9; Acts 2:24; 2 Cor. 4:7; 2 Pet. 1:13-14
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have come through death to bring eternal life.
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