St Augustine of AfricaIf our hope in Christ is for this life only, of all mankind we are the most wretched.

There is, then, another life. Gaze with the eyes of faith on the future life.

For the sake of the future life you believed and were signed with the sign of Christ.

He lived an earthly life in order to show you how lightly you should esteem the life you used to love, and how earnestly you should hope for the life in which you used to disbelieve.

Rouse your faith and turn the eyes of faith to the last things and the world to come, where we shall rejoice after the Lord’s Second Coming, after the Judgment, after the kingdom has been delivered to the saints.

Think of that life and that life’s leisure, beloved. Our life then will not be storm-tossed. It will be a life of leisure, a leisure full of nothing but pleasantness.

There will be no vexations to disturb us, no fatigue to tire us, no storm clouds to trouble us.

What will be our occupation in that life? To praise God, to love and to praise: to praise by loving, and to love by praising.

Blessed are they who dwell in your house: they shall praise you forever and ever.

Why, if not because they shall love you forever and ever? Why, if not because they shall gaze upon you forever and ever?

If we remember that we are members of the Saviour, if we yearn and persevere, we shall see and rejoice.

The citizens of that city will all be purified, and none there will be subversive or disturbers of the peace.

The enemy who now hinders us from reaching that home­land can lay no snares for anyone there, for entrance is denied him.

If he is now barred from the breasts of believers, how much more will he not be barred from the city of the living?

My brethren, I ask you, what will it be like in that city, when it is such a joy even to speak of it now?

We must prepare our hearts for that future life.

Those who do so are detached from everything in this present life, and this detachment enables them to look forward with confidence to that day which the Lord bade us await with fear and trembling.

Augustine of Hippo (354-430): Commentary on Psalm 147, 3 (CCL 40:2140-2141; from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Monday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time, Year 1.

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