Cut Off the Deeds of Death

The blessed Paul wrote to the Corinthians that he always bore in his body the dying of Jesus (2 Cor 4.10), not as though he alone should make that boast, but also they and we too, and in this let us be followers of him, my brethren. And let this be the customary boast of all of us at all times. In this David participated, saying in the Psalms, ‘For thy sake we die all the day; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter (Ps 44.22).’ Now this is becoming in us, especially in the days of the feast, when a commemoration of the death of our Saviour is held. For he who is made like Him in His death, is also diligent in virtuous practices, having mortified his members which are upon the earth (Col 3.5), and crucifying the flesh with the affections and lusts, he lives in the Spirit, and is conformed to the Spirit (Gal 5.2. He is always mindful of God, and forgets Him not, and never does the deeds of death. Now, in order that we may bear in our body the dying of Jesus, he immediately adds the way of such fellowship, saying, ‘we having the same spirit of faith, as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak (2 Cor 4.13).’ He adds also, speaking of the grace that arises from knowledge; ‘For He that raised up Jesus, will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us before Him with you.” St. Athanasius, Festal Letter 7 for 335, chapter 1.

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