Athanasius the Great

As I mentioned earlier this morning (see here) this is the day of the year when the eastern church remembers Athanasius of Alexandria. In his honor let me share a wonderful paragraph that he wrote on the aftermath of the resurrection:

“A very strong proof of this destruction of death and its conquest by the cross is supplied by a present fact, namely this. All the disciples of Christ despise death; they take the offense against it and, instead of fearing it, by the sign of the cross and by faith in Christ trample on it as on something dead. Before the divine sojourn of the Saviour, even the holiest of men were afraid of death, and mourned the dead as those who perish. But now that the Saviour has raised His body, death is no longer terrible, but all those who believe in Christ tread it underfoot as nothing, and prefer to die rather than to deny their faith in Christ, knowing full well that when they die they do not perish, but live indeed, and become incorruptible through the resurrection.”

(On the Incarnation. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Press, 57)

Those are powerful words. Christians can look death in the eye, and even treat death as “something dead”, because Christ has risen. I anticipate the day when we all meet our Lord and we experience the victory of which Athanasius speaks!