Life, death, and the hereafter from an Orthodox Christian perspective

by 1389 on January 14, 2014

in 1389 (blog admin), books, Orthodox Christianity, Russia, sin

Eternal Mysteries Beyond the Grave
Here’s another book that every Orthodox Christian should read!

It’s fascinating, sobering, and inspiring reading.
We, the admins of 1389 Blog, highly recommend it.

About the Book

Death is perhaps one of the least discussed and frequently concealed realities of life in contemporary Western societies. Nonetheless, it remains the one event we all expect to encounter, even if we perceive it only dimly as something in our distant future.

Archimandrite Panteleimon, was a Russian who came to the United States in 1913 and in 1930 founded the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York. It was to become the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia during the long years of Communist control of his homeland. He compiled this books from a wide variety of Russian and other sources out of the conviction that:

The science of sciences, the education of human beings so that they may become worthy representatives of the human race, cannot be correct and sensible if it is not founded on a broad and true knowledge of man’s spiritual life.

He shows how this true knowledge is founded upon the understanding of the One God as a Trinity of three Persons and that inextricably linked to this is belief is the immortality of the human soul. Thus he concludes that: An expectation of a future life, together with faith in God, forms the foundation of a well ordered life on earth, not to speak of a future life.

He goes on to offer many examples of the awareness of the life beyond death and in so doing offers the clear hope of a growth in life “beyond the grave” of this temporal existence.

This 2nd edition was reedited, re-ordered, newly typeset. It includes subject and scripture indexes, and includes a biography of the author.

About the Author

Archimandrite Panteleimon was the founder and first abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, in Jordanville New York. Father Panteleimon was born Peter Nizhnik on January 16, 1895 in the village of Rechitsa, Grodno Province, Russia. Immigrating to the United States in 1913, he found work in a factory in Chicago. Spurred by the radical changes that were occurring in his homeland due to the Revolution and Civil War, he entered St. Tikhon’s Monastery in Pennsylvania in 1918. Quickly ordained first a deacon and then a priest, Fr. Panteleimon was in charge of agricultural projects at the monastery. Desiring a life even more removed from the vanity and bustle of the world, he wanted to build his own monastery far away in the woods. Along with a fellow desirer of the quiet monastic life Ivan Kolos, (the future Archimandrite Joseph) Fr. Panteleimon received permission to work in the Sikorsky factory in Connecticut to raise money to buy land for a monastery. Eventually, in 1928 he was able to purchase farmland near Jordanville NY, where he started to slowly build Holy Trinity Monastery. Facing many early challenges, including a fire that burned down the first wooden church that was built, Fr. Panteleimon and his fellow monks nevertheless continued to labor, and eventually were able to build a stone cathedral dedicated to The Holy Trinity, along with a large building to house the monks and printing press. Strengthened with the movement of the St. Job of Pochaev Brotherhood from Slovakia, which drew its roots from the famous Pochaev Lavra, the monastery continued the printing tradition of the Pochaev monastery, and became one of the main sources for Russian language spiritual literature and service books during the Soviet period. Father Panteleimon was a tireless compiler and author of spiritual texts. He fell asleep in the Lord in 1984.

Contents

Preface
Introduction to the Second Edition
Part I: BELIEF IN GOD AND THE EXISTENCE OF AN AFTERLIFE
1. Orthodox Teachings on the Existence of God
2. The Mystery of the Holy Trinity
3. The Immortality of Our Soul
4. The Origin of Death
5. The Actual Existence of the Devil
6. The Fallen Angels
7. St Anthony’s Struggles Against Devils
8. What Is Death?
9. What Is the Soul, and What Is Its Origin?
10. How Significant for Our Lives Is Belief in Immortality?
Part II: TEACHING ON THE AFTERLIFE, HEAVEN, AND HELL
11. Proofs of Immortality
12. The Particular Judgment
13. Church Teaching on the Trials of the Departed
14. The Mystery of Death
15. Teaching from the Holy Fathers on the Journey After Death
16. The Mysteries of Life Beyond Death
17. A General View on the Immortality of the Soul and on Life Beyond the Grave
18. The Life of Departed Souls Before the Universal Judgment
Part III: TALES FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE
19. The Journey Beyond Death as Revealed to Gregory, a Disciple of St Basil the New
20. Testimony of the Departed About the Immortality of the Soul and the Afterlife
21. The Deaths of the Christian Boys
22. Two Visions of the Heavenly Kingdom
23. Two Marvelous Occurrences
24. The Miraculous Dream of the Novice Thecla
25. The Clairvoyant Girl
26. The Experience of a Certain Ascetic
27. An Ancient Tale
28. The Soldier Taxiotes
29. The Tale of Gabriel Ivanovich Gonchar
30. A Tale from the Holy Mountain
31. The Suffering Paralytic
Part IV: PRAYING FOR THOSE IN ETERNITY
32. How Important It Is to Remember the Dead
33. The Departed Request the Living to Pray for Them and Are Grateful
34. The Departed Appear to Their Relatives and Friends to Tell Them of Their Death
35. The Departed Take an Interest in Their Survivors
36. More Accounts of Appearances of the Departed
Part V: PREPARING OURSELVES FOR DEATH
37. A Moral Conclusion to Be Drawn from the Previous Accounts
38. What the Holy Scripture and the Fathers of the Church Teach About the Location of Paradise
39. What the Holy Scripture and the Fathers of the Church Tell Us About the Location of Hell
40. The Future Punishment of Sinners
41. An Answer to the Eternal Question: Shall We Live After Death? An Attack on Atheism and the Doctrine That Death Is Final
Part VI: FINAL WORDS ON IMMORTALITY
42. More About Proofs of Man’s Immortality and of the Preservation of His Own Identity After Death
43. After His Death, Man Preserves His Identity and Leads a Fully Spiritual Life
Part VII: COMMENTS ON CHRISTIANITY, ENDTIMES, STRUGGLES, AND REWARDS
44. On the Holiness of the Christian Religion
45. A Last Word on the Divine Origin of the Christian Religion
46. The End of the World, the Resurrection of the Dead, and the Last Judgment
47. The Blessed Condition of the Righteous in the Future Life
48. About the Eternal Blessedness of the Saints
Part VIII: CONCLUSION
49. A Defense of Christian Faith Against Disbelief
50. Final Exhortation—Stand Firm
Appendix 1: A Prayer for Mercy
Appendix 2: A Short Biography of Archimandrite Panteleimon
Subject Index
Scripture Index

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