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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fourth Day in Octave of All Saints

Fourth Day of the Octave of All Saints, November 4

New Jerusalem
From a Sermon by St. Bede the Venerable
Beloved, think on the joy wherewith the heavenly city receiveth them that return from the contest! How happily do her citizens meet them that bear the trophies of the conquered enemy! Along with men triumphant, women also come, who rose above the strength of this world and the weakness of their sex, thus doubling the glory of their contest. Young men and maidens also come, whose virtues surpassed their tender years. And not these alone, but all the multitude of them that have proved faithful, shall enter the place of that eternal court ; yea, all the harmonious union of those that have observed the commandments of heaven, and have kept the purity of their Faith.

Therefore, brethren, let us also enter upon the way of life. Let us proceed thereby to the heavenly city, in which we are already enrolled and inscribed as citizens. For we are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the Saints, and of the household of God ; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ. The gates of this city are set open to us by fortitude ; and faith maketh for us a broad entrance thereto. Wherefore let us consider the felicity of that heavenly habitation, insofar as it is possible for us to do so ; for to speak the truth, no words of man are sufficient to describe it.

Of that city, it is written in a certain place : Grief and sorrow shall flee away. What happier life could there be, than that where there is no fear of poverty nor weakness of disease ; where none can be hurt, none can be angry ; where none can envy, none can be unchaste ; no snare there of evil spirits ; no terror there of hell ; no death there either of soul or of body ; but a life blessed in the gift of a holy immortality.

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