Words of St. Theodore the Studite, before his death

‘So farewell now, my children. I set out on a journey with no return, a journey which all those of old have traveled and on which you will set out in a short while after carrying out the duties of life.

I do not know, my brothers, where I am going or what judgment awaits me or which place will receive me. For I have not completed a single good work before God. Rather I am responsible for every sin. But still, I rejoice and am glad that I am going from the world to heaven, from darkness to light, from slavery to freedom, from temporary lodging to true abode, from strange and alien lands – for I am a sojourner and a stranger as all my fathers were (cf. Ps. 38 [39]:12) – to my very own country.

Still more boldly I will declare that I return to my Master, to my Lord and my God whom my spirit has loved, whom I have acknowledged as Father, even if I have not served him as a son. I have possessed him before all else, even if I have not served him as a noble slave.

Raving, I have spoken these things, but I have said them for you so that you will take heart and pray for my salvation.

If I achieve it, see, I give you my word before the truth that I will not be silent, but shall boldly beseech my Lord and Master for you all that you shall flourish, be saved, and multiply. I expect to see, receive, and embrace each and every one of you as you depart from the world. For I have such faith that, since you have observed his commands, his goodness just as he did here will also preserve you in the coming age for the same purpose: to sing the praises of his all-holy power. My children, remember my humble words. Keep the advice I have given in Christ Jesus our Lord in whom is glory and power forever and ever, Amen.’

St. Theodore the Studite, before his death

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