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Elder Cleopa gives us the example of Alexander the Great who, when he saw death staring in his face, said: “both my hands be kept dangling empty out of my coffin… I wish people to know that I, Alexander the Great, who conquered the whole world, have to leave this earth with my hands empty! I cannot take anything with me!'”

Death and Dying (DD) Series – S01E01

Fr. Cleopa:

Alexander the Great (of Macedon), the one who conquered so many countries… When he saw death staring in his face, he said: “Build my grave of stone, the coffin of marble, and both my hands be kept dangling EMPTY out of my coffin!” It was his testament… he was Alexander the Great…

They said to him: “But why, Your Majesty?”

“Whoever will put something in my hand to be guilty of death! Empty handed!

I wish people to know that I, Alexander the Great, who conquered the whole world, have to leave this earth with my hands EMPTY! I cannot take anything with me!”

Do you know what he takes with him? The good deeds!

The good deeds can redeem the soul, it was not a prophet the one who told us the price of the soul, nor an apostle… it was not… but Christ Himself: “what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? even if he shall gain the whole world, he cannot buy his soul…” [see Matthew 16:26] It is the image and likeness of God…

So, we should take care of our souls, to be in prayer all the time, pure confession, to go to the Church, in holiness, cleanliness, fasting, charity, good deeds… because we will be judged in the state in which death finds us!

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