29 October 1955
It is characteristic of human nature to fear death. Death entered mankind unnaturally: therefore human nature fears death and flees from it.
St Maximos the Confessor says: there is nothing more frightful than the thought of death or more magnificent than the remembrance of God. See how even such a saint was afraid of death, a man who had his tongue cut out for the sake of Orthodoxy. Many say: 'I am not afraid of death; I am ready to die even now'. This is only idle talk, and when they feel the approach of death, then fear will come...."