During my service at the church of St. Mary, Cleopatra Alexandria, in 1981, I visited a family. We talked together about the joyful gospel of Christ. A 70-year-old man asked me if he could confess.
We entered alone in a room, his eyes started to tear as he said I am from Cairo and came to Alexandria in the summer and have not been able to confess. My wife passed away 27 years ago. I can not remember during all this time that she ever said a word to hurt my feelings or that I ever said a word to hurt her feelings.
We lived in a lovely joyful atmosphere full of true love.
Each time I left home to my work, she’d make the sign of the cross over me and say; “May our good Lord protect you and let you return safe filled with joy.”
Her clothes are still hanging in the closet. Whenever I leave home I would first go inside the closet to kiss her hanging clothes. She is the secret behind the blessing in my life. I feel that she did not depart from me, but that she now prays for me.
I am waiting for my departure from this world so that I can live with her and with the Groom of our souls, Jesus Christ.”
This man felt that the tens of years he lived with his wife were a down payment for a grander life.
We dread death because we have not yet experienced life in paradise; but he who experiences it in his inner self, in his family life, and with his beloved colleagues, sees in death a crossing over to the life in paradise in its fullness.
Grant me O Lord the experience of life in paradise,
To test this kind of life in a world overcome by unjustness,
So I may not fear death.
Let me love the salvation of my soul,
To love my family, neighbors, and colleagues
And also those who wish to resist me and wish to frustrate me.
Pass over with me O Lord from the death of hate to the paradise of love.
I desire to cross over to Your paradise.
See You face to face O the desire of my soul.
The Shadow of Death
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