Let us consider, beloved brethren, that we have renounced the world, and are passing our time here as strangers and pilgrims. We embrace the day which assigns each to his home, which restores to Paradise and a kingdom, us who have been plucked from the world and set free from worldly snares. Who would not hasten home? Paradise we count our fatherland, and the patriarchs our fathers. Why should we not hasten homewards to salute our parents? There the mighty multitude of dear ones awaits us,—the crowd of parents, brothers, sons, longs for us, already secure of their own safety, and now concerned about ours. How great the joy to us and to them, of beholding and embracing each other! What the blessedness of these celestial realms; without fear of death, and possessed of an eternity of life, how supreme and abiding the bliss! There the glorious choir of apostles; there the crowd of exulting prophets; there the innumerable throng of martyrs crowned because of victory in conflict and suffering; there the triumphant virgins who subdued the desires of the flesh; the compassionate rewarded, who, obeying their Lord’s command, transferred their earthly patrimony to a heavenly treasure-house. To these, brethren most beloved, with eager desire let us hasten, longing to be speedily with them and with Christ. These our desires and purposes, let our God, and our Lord Christ, behold, who will give the larger reward of His glory to those who after Him have had larger desires.
A powerful encouragement for us to keep our focus on our Heavenly destination from the Latin church father who, though converted from paganism little more than a dozen years before his martyrdom, exercised wide influence as Bishop of Carthage and, more permanently, through his prolific writings.
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