Archpriest Oleg Stenyaev talks about the first of the tollhouses that the soul goes through after death; about how the words and speech of the Orthodox Christian should be, and; what sins bound up with words should we avoid.
So that we would not form the impression that the teaching on the aerial tollhouses was only known to the Eastern Fathers of the Church, we will turn to testimony from the book by Fr. Seraphim (Rose), where he show that he was familiar with themany different Orthodox Western sources, which were never translated into Greek or Russian and which abound with descriptions of the tollhouses.
Those who have parted their bodies do not rise so easily to the heavens as the neo-Protestants and our own renovationists would have it. There is a good deal of testimony in the holy fathers about the aerial tollhouses.
Where in the Bible do they talk about aerial tollhouses—those obstacles that the forces of darkness put in the way of souls rising after death to heaven through the space under heaven? Why do the demons wait for a soul in the under-heavens? How should we view the fact that there are differences between patristic works and the lives of the saints in explanations of the tollhouses? How can we answer critics of the teaching on the tollhouses?
Why is earthly life is so valuable to us? What does a soul experience as it separates from the body? What are the aerial tollhouses? What is life, and what is death in the Orthodox understanding? These are the topics of a series of talks with Archpriest Oleg Stenyaev, which we will be translating for our English language readers.
To those on the new style calendar who are celebrating the Nativity of Christ, we wish all a joyous feast. Please keep this delightful article on fasting in mind for Wednesdays and Fridays, and the other three extended fast periods. But for those who are still observing the Nativity fast, may these instructions encourage you during this final stretch.