Nothing so moves a sinner to repentance as eternity, and nothing is so useful to every Christian as remembrance and contemplation of eternity. Eternity restrains a man from sin, calms his passions, turns him from the world and all its vanity, makes his heart contrite, gives birth to tears of repentance, incites him to prayer, and works true sighing of the heart. Contemplation and remembrance of eternity can correct even the most depraved man.
Contemplation of eternity filled dwellers of the desert, caves, mountains and clefts of the earth. By contemplating eternity the holy martyrs willed to endure torments rather than submit to the will of ungodly kings and deny Christ.
St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
“Journey to Heaven”
In the days of the Roman Republic, the imperator of a particularly successful or important military campaign was occasionally awarded a triumph. This festive ceremony featured a parade of captured bounty and prisoners, interspersed with Roman soldiers signing bawdy songs about their commander, who would wave to the cheering crowds from the back of a chariot. And behind the chariot would walk a slave, whose sole job was to whisper in the ear of the conquering hero “Remember that thou art mortal.”
Remembrance of our mortality and contemplation of eternity should drive us all to the deserts and a life piety. There is nothing like strong sickness or fear of death to draw us closer to our Lord. Remember o man, “Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.” (Gen: 3:19)
Let us eagerly seek after our Lord, with all of our strength, with all of our minds, and with all of our hearts.