The Stranniki (Russian for Runaways or Wanderers) are the strong Pomorsky Old Believers who rejected prayers for Tsar Peter and all government papers (identification, passports, money, etc). They would not wear clothing contrary to Old Orthodox Russia, nor eat with those of contrary Faith and Practice. Keeping themselves separate from the antichrist society they went far into the Siberian wilderness. This blog is about these people and my effort to conform my life to theirs.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Broad Way

There is a teaching from the tenth century about the Toll Houses (or Toll Booths), where we have explained for us the particular judgment that awaits us after, or at, death (either way we think of it our earthly life of repentance is then finalized). There is still waiting for us the general judgment at the end of time which will come afterward, unless we remain until the second coming of the Lord. I think this story helps us to reflect on what we do during this temporary life, I accept anything that is helpful to that end.

It was explained to me that one of the reasons for the 40 day funeral is due to such experiences that the soul must go through after departing this life. Since the world is coming so close to its end who of it can be confident of their own peaceful repose?

Russian Old Slavonic manuscripts dating to the 13th century still exist which explain the itinerary of our moral pilgrimage after, or at, the separation from this world, showing the penalties and sufferings that can be expected. These are quite similar to those found in the Apocalypse’s 21st chapter. They are a reflection on our faith and practice during the experience of this life. The Old Believers teach that the soul eventually finds a place where it waits till the final judgment.

There is a booklet published by Holy Trinity Monastery called A Journey Beyond Death which has an interesting sketch on the first page. It shows The Broad Way, that has so many people dressed in sensual clothing, smoking tobacco, busy working in industry, and all speeding their way along this wide path to destruction. There are passenger planes, cruise ships, cars, bicycles and all manner of people with their dogs and such all following in the way pointed down by the one demon, while the other sweeps them all into the flames. Let us all hope that we will be of the few who find the more hidden, narrow and difficult way that leads upwards and away from such terrible things.

More detail is in the larger photo