Talk 46: The Aerial Toll-houses: Fearful yet Hopeful

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Set of 3 Audio CD's

(Duration: 3hrs 55mins) 

The Holy Fathers teach that true Christianity consists in the practice of the commandments of the Gospel. It is, therefore, important for an Orthodox Christian to learn what exactly the commandments of the Gospel are. Many spiritual fathers advise that the study of the teaching of the aerial toll-houses is a valuable aid in learning the holy commandments.

In this talk, Father Kosmas explains the toll-houses using the detailed account of Theodora’s journey through them, as found in the life of Saint Basil the New. He explains how the Church often uses fearful examples to bring Christians to repentance, and to make them aware of the Last Judgment and the next life. After listening to this talk, we will see that while this teaching is indeed fearful, it gives us hope because Christ is compassionate, merciful, full of love, and desires the salvation of all.

The following questions are also discussed: what did the angel say to Theodora regarding sexual sins? What is meant by holy anxiety? How can gluttons and drunkards easily pass by the toll-houses? Is it a serious sin not to read the Bible? Why is the concept of “dying with dignity” worthless? Why is it important to be conscious at the time of our death? Why are some elders reluctant to speak about ecumenism? Is it realistic to expect young people not to date? Can unconfessed serious sins be forgiven after death?

Other points covered in this talk include: demonic warfare before, during and after death; the meaning of “anathema”; how the demons record our bad deeds and the angels our good deeds; the great benefit of abstaining from Holy Communion for a period of time; how seemingly insignificant acts can be considered good deeds; a priest’s blasphemous attitude towards memorial prayers for the dead; and an angel’s explanation regarding the importance of confession.