~ The Sunday of the Last Judgment ~
In this recording of the voice of Elder Ephraim of Arizona, he talks about the moment of death from a Christian Orthodox perspective. What will be after death? What happens after we die? What is the state of the soul after death? The important thing here is that “we have to consider all things and set them straight, each and every one of us and say: ‘There is no other way, I have to rush, I have to fight!'” There is no time to waste.
Subtitles: English, Romanian
Audio source: Gus Tsin
Fr. Ephraim of Arizona:
I am thinking of the Judgment that will be passed upon us…
The moment of death… this terrifying moment when the soul contemplates a thousand different things, a thousand different truths…
because the mind is sorting things out, the soul is getting rid of earthly worries and cares… because she feels she is departing.
She goes on to meet the Judge. She understands that everything ends now. She begins to go through the demons. She feels the reality at that moment. Everything else fades away, the struggles, the prelests, the unfaithfulness, the sins, the passions… everything secedes and spiritually she then believes wholeheartedly that she does not end as a soul, but she departs just like the fathers [of the Church] say.
For this reason, many times secular people, for the most part, warn their family that they are about to depart and they wish to say goodbye their family as if they were leaving for a journey.
People of little faith and piety. But, at that moment, their soul speaks to them in a special way. They feel that this life was fake… that it was a game that has ended now… and the people left behind are somehow misguided as they do not know what is expecting them, something that has come to me now.
But, the man who leaves cannot say those things. God does not allow it. The soul contemplates all of these things and asks,
“What is happening right now…? Where is my time?”.
She asks for time to come back to her so she can pray. But now the feast is over. She departs for the other world and what’s done is done. Time is not coming back. You don’t get one second back of all the years that passed. Then, the control of the conscience comes. The time has passed for good. The prayer I could have done, now cannot be done. And like this, each and every one of us starts for the other world with the control of the conscience.
Each and every one says the prayer but one does not have the proper strength, speaks slowly the words, thinks of irrelevant things and does not pay attention to her. All these things, at the time of death, will come back. The conscience will say, “You did not do this and you did not do that. At that time, you made someone sad…one other time, you judged, you lied, you forgot your duty…” All these things, our conscience will present to us! The demons have them written down with every detail. We will be frightened from what they will show us. We have already forgotten them… due to human weakness, due to sorrow, due to many things we have forgotten them. And yet, they have them all written down. And while our soul ascends, we will meet them in front of us. Then the mind will return to its place, but it will be late.
Now that we listen to the word of God, that we listen everything that will come to us, we have to consider all things and set them straight, each and every one of us and first of all, myself. And say:
“There is no other way, I have to rush, I have to fight!”