On Deathbed Repentance

St. John of KronstadtSt. John of Kronstadt 1829-1908

Many of us live as if we don’t have to die and give an account of our lives. What does this mean? Doesn’t this happen because such people think that all they have to do is to repent just before they die and they will receive a full pardon? Of course, God does not turn away those who come to Him even at the eleventh hour, that is, if they turn to Him with all their hearts. However, if your heart was far away from God for the longest part of your life, do you think that you will be able to move it toward God, to arouse in you a feeling of repentance before you die? Oh, brothers! It will be exactly then that your heart will be set against you, for your perdition. Many times have I seen how difficult it is for some to listen to an exhortation to repentance, and how those who never thought about correcting themselves, and were not able to repent during their lives, how they are lost during Confession before their departure from this life. No, brothers! A Christian ending is a reward for true Christians. Repent as much as you can during your lifetime, and then you will meet a peaceful death with sincere repentance. (Sergiev, Ivan Ilyich. 2015-03-01. Season of Repentance: Lenten Homilies of Saint John of Kronstadt [Kindle Locations 443-451]. Holy Trinity Publications. Kindle Edition)

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