Power that is real indeed springs from within humans, never inspired by circumstances that may come their way. In our day and time we are first-hand witnessing human role models who possess innate power at their very core; never are they intimidated by terror no matter how horrifying, determined to offer God their own personal existence with no sign of retreat or hesitation. Some may pose this question: “How is it possible for man, in life as we know it, to attain such power that would overcome the most frightening challenge of death?!
Death never poses a threat to a human if and when s/he lives on earth striving for their eternal life that is to succeed departure from this world, for them life is but a journey lasting until their arrival at their heavenly homeland. This reminds me of a narrative I’ve read about inhabitants of a town who were accustomed to electing some foreigner as a monarch to rule over them. A year later, they’d remove him from his monarchy, parade him around town then deport him into exile in a far-off deserted island where he’d bitterly suffer grief and starve to death after having enjoyed life’s pleasures all over the town however he pleased! Then, it happened one year that they elected some wise man to rule over them. Embarked the sage on constructing a house in that island afar, equipped with all available facilities of comfort at the time. Towards the end of the year’s approach, they found him happily cheerful. Demanding to know the reason, said the wise man, “I’ve prepared the place in which I am to dwell all my coming days the way I ought to live”. This is the wisdom this man learned from the life of all who preceded him; he arrived at the perception of real life.
Therefore, do strive to accumulate funds in the life you shall lead in heaven, perform works of goodness, exemplify tender loving care, enable whomever you consider weak, refrain from exacting injustice upon anyone, be a peacemaker among all around you, be as meek as you can so God will elevate you in due time, fill your heart, to the brim with compassion that is likely to move God’s heart and intervene on your behalf before Him. There are a myriad acts of goodness you can perform in a way that works for you rather than against you. What you execute on earth is your valid evidence that you have indeed known God, otherwise from Him you are at a distance.
He who surpasses the world with all that it exemplifies never experiences that fear of death, as one of the fathers put it: “On the summit of the world I settled when I feared nothing, and indeed pursued not a thing”. Roaming still in my mind and thought are the eloquent words of His Holiness the late Pope Shenouda: “I wish nothing of the world, as this world is far poorer than to provide me”! Now would I pose this question: “Exactly what can this world provide that you can carry with you to the heavenly existence? One of the symbolic accounts narrates that when the final chapter of his life finally came to a close, a man of substantial wealth had pleaded to God that he may carry with him some of the belongings precious to him, so much so that God’s seal of approval was granted to him; of gold and pearl gems the rich fellow filled a suitcase. At heaven’s gate though, an angel stopped him. He informed the angel that he’d obtained God’s approval; when the angel glanced at what the rich human cared to carry, the angel smiled. Of the reason behind the angel’s smile enquired our man of substance only to hear the angel imparting this explanation: “You take it upon you to carry from earth what we here use to pave our roads!” It is but a symbolic narration, however it conveys some great depths. Seek what is precious after life then.
This is precisely what our beloved martyrs in Libya have done some days ago. We pray for condolences and peace of heart to be granted to their families and all their loved ones.