The person who has a clean conscience will pass in peace the verge of eternity – bodily death. This person will be able to say, as the Rightful Simeon did “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word” (Luke 2:29).
But whose conscience can be truly in peace? The conscience of those who have struggled to live a truly Christian life, who were good sons of the Church, who made peace with God and the people, who have prepared themselves for death by the Mystery of Repentance – that removes the burden of sins of the conscience – and those who have tasted the Body and Blood of Christ through the Sacrament of Communion.
Believing this truth, Christians not only that will not fear death but also will welcome it with joy when it will come to them. This living faith in the existence of life after death has inspired numerous martyrs in the first centuries of Christianity and has transformed death into joy, despite its terrible torments.
(Translation from Archimandrite Chiril Pavlov, Lauda Maicii Domnului, Editura Egumenița, Galați, 2012, p. 19)