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Death: The Most Essential of All Works

John Climacus, a seventh-century ascetic who wrote Ladder of Divine Ascent, urged Christians to use the reality of death to their benefit: “You cannot pass a day devoutly unless you think of it as your last,” he wrote. He called the thought of death the “most essential of all works” and a gift from God. “The man who lives daily with the thought of death is to be admired, and the man who gives himself to it by the hour is surely a saint.” “A man who has heard himself sentenced to death will not worry about the way theatres are run.”

Gary Thomas, in Christianity Today, October 3, 1994, p. 26