On Visiting the GravesBy St. John
Archbishop of Constantinople (+ 407)
We receive much spiritual benefit when gazing upon graves. For with this
view, the soul, if indolent and indifferent, is moved to humility and
contrition; if active and eager, the soul becomes more eager for virtue. If
someone is grieving his poverty, he is consoled when viewing a grave. If he is
prideful over his wealth, he is humbled.
The sight of graves forces everyone without wanting to, to think and to
contemplate his own death. It convinces him not to consider anything steadfast,
neither sorrow nor pleasant. The sight of graves forces us, whether we want it
or not, to prepare for our own end.