Happy New Year, everyone! ^_^
Maybe it would’ve been appropriate to post something merry and colorful at this jolly time of the year, but this illustration comes as part of my new year resolution to paint more environments 😀
Inspired by the words of Father Cleopa (one of the greatest spiritual representatives of the Romanian Orthodox Church) which I quoted below, I imagined the journey of the soul through the borders of the after-life judgement (translated below as “aerial toll-houses”).
“At the hour of death, the angel we have from our christening has much boldness. When he shows up, everyone steps aside. The angel that we have from the Holy Christening has much authority. Which is why, when you pray in your homes, after you have done your rule, do a few prayers to your angel, too, and say this: “Holy Angel, guardian of my life, pray to Lord Jesus Christ for me, the sinner!”
Because this angel not only guards us now, but also us at the time of our death. He travels with us through the aerial toll-houses, until 40 days pass; and we have him from our divine Christening as a great protector. If it weren’t for him, the devil would do with us whatever he would want.
Listen to the Psalm book: The one who guards you should never sleep. And again: God’s angel will go upon the ones who are afraid of Him and will deliver them. So it is clear that the angel is the one who guards us in this life and after we die, for 40 days.
So the angel comes and says: “Clear away, you demons. I know the life of this soul, ever since s/he was born.” And he starts speaking to the soul thus: “Don’t be afraid, my soul brother!” St. Gregory of Nyssa explains why he calls it brother. Because the angel and the soul are rational, autonomous, speaking, beings and are also spirits, as the Holy Scripture says: And they will all be like God’s angels.
[And the angel continues:] “Behold your body! There, my soul brother – that is your body, that is the house in which you have lived until now. It’s been within that shell that you were begotten by your mother’s womb; it was within it that you have lived for 20, 60, 80” – whatever number of years God has given us on earth (since all life strings are with God, not with us). “Remember, my soul brother, when the Last Judgement trumpet calls, within the blink of an eye this body will come back to life, just as you see it now, and you will re-enter it and go to the Judgement, as Apostle Paul says: They will all stand before the Judgement Throne of Jesus Christ, to be rewarded according to their deeds, whether good or bad.”
Full text at valahia.wordpress.com/