Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Grain of Sand to the Sea + Abundance in Paradise
God says thus to him that loves him, and serves him faithfully: "Go and consider the sands of the sea, O my servant, how many they are. Wherefore, if the sea should give you one single grain of sand, would it appear small to you? Assuredly, yes. As I, your creator, live, all that I have given in this world to all the princes and kings of the earth is less than a grain of sand that the sea would give you, in comparison of that which I will give you in my paradise."
'Consider, then," said Jesus, "the abundance of paradise. For if God has given to man in this world an ounce of welling, in paradise he will give him ten hundred thousand loads. Consider the quantity of fruits that are in this world, the quantity of food, the quantity of flowers, and the quantity of things that minister to man. As God lives, in whose presence my soul stands, as the sea has still sand over and above when one receives a grain thereof, even so will the quality and quantity of figs [in paradise] excel the sort of figs we eat here. And in like manner every other thing in paradise. But furthermore, I say to you that truly, as a mountain of gold and pearls is more precious than the shadow of an ant, even so are the delights of paradise more precious than all the delights of the princes of the world which they have had and shall have even to the judgment of God when the world shall have an end."
Peter answered: "Shall, then, our body which we now have go into paradise?" Jesus answered: "Beware, Peter; lest you become a Sadducee; for the Sadducees say that the flesh shall not rise again, and that there be no angels. 'Wherefore their body and soul are deprived of entrance into paradise, and they are deprived of all ministry of angels in this world. Have you perhaps forgotten Job, prophet and friend of God, how he says: "I know that my God lives; and in the last day I shall rise again in my flesh, and with my eyes I shall see God my Saviour"?
But believe me, this flesh of ours shall be so purified that it shall not possess a single property of those which now it has; seeing that it shall be purged of every evil desire, and God shall reduce it to such a condition as was Adam's before he sinned. Two men serve one master in one and the same work. The one alone sees the work, and gives orders to the second, and the second performs all that the first commands. Seems it just to you, I say, that the master should reward only him who sees and commands, and should cast out of his house him who wearied himself in the work? Surely not.
How then shall the justice of God bear this? The soul and the body with sense of man serve God: the soul only sees and commands the service, because the soul, eating no bread, fasts not, [the soul] walks not, feels not cold and heat, falls not sick, and is not slain, because the soul is immortal: it suffers not any of those corporal pains which the body suffers at the instance of the elements. Is it, then, just, I say, that the soul alone should go into paradise, and not the body, which has wearied itself so much in serving God?" Peter answered: "O master, the body, having caused the soul to sin, ought not to be placed in paradise. Jesus answered: "Now how shall the body sin without the soul? Assuredly it is impossible. Therefore, in taking away God's mercy from the body, you condemns the soul to hell."
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