I am finally reading Pope Benedict’s Encyclical Letter Spe Salvi. This passage jumped out at me yesterday:
This is precisely the point made, for example, by Saint Ambrose, one of the Church Fathers, in the funeral discourse for his deceased brother Satyrus: “Death was not part of nature; it became part of nature. God did not decree death from the beginning; he prescribed it as a remedy. Human life, because of sin ... began to experience the burden of wretchedness in unremitting labour and unbearable sorrow. There had to be a limit to its evils; death had to restore what life had forfeited. Without the assistance of grace, immortality is more of a burden than a blessing”. A little earlier, Ambrose had said: “Death is, then, no cause for mourning, for it is the cause of mankind's salvation”.
I have never thought of death like this before. I am glad I am reading it now (in the 2nd half of my life) instead of reading it and forgetting about it (in my youth.)
Also, I didn’t know St. Augustine wrote an extended letter on prayer. I have to get this.
Finally, just received a late Christmas present (shipped to the wrong address): Robert Hugh Benson’s The Friendship of Christ. Will start on it soon.
Oremus pro invicem!