The struggle of the departing soul

departure-of-the-soul

The struggle of the departing soul

While the dying person addresses his last words to us, suddenly his tongue is at a loss, his eyes dim, his mouth falls silent, his voice is paralyzed when the Lord’s troops have arrived, when His frightening armies overwhelm him, when the divine bailiffs invite the soul to be gone from the body, when the inexorable lays hold of us to drag us to the tribunal…

Then the angels take the soul and go off through the air. There stand principalities i.e. the demons, powers and leaders of the adverse troops who govern the world, merciless accusers, strict agents of an implacable tax bureau, like so many examiners that await the soul in the air, ready to demand a reckoning, to examine everything, brandishing their claims, that is to say our sins: those of youth and of old age, those intentional and those not so, those committed by actions and those by words or thoughts. Great is then the fear of the poor soul, inexpressible its anguish when it sees itself at grips with these myriads of enemies, who stop it, push and shove it, accuse it, hinder it from dwelling in the light, from entering into the land of the living.

But the holy angels, taking the righteous soul, lead it away.

St. Ephrem the Syrian

In this period of Great Lent, let us recite daily St. Ephrem’s Lenten prayer while doing a prostration at the end of every verse.

O Lord and Master of my life, give me not the spirit of sloth, faintheartedness, lust for power, or idle talk. (prostration)

But grant me, your servant, the spirit of moderation, humility, patience, and love. (prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults and not to judge my brothers and sisters. For you are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen (prostration)

Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me. (repeat 12 times, while doing the sign of the cross followed by a bow)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults and not to judge my brothers and sisters. For you are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen (prostration)

 

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