Ælfric: Alia Visio
When the angel had Thus related, it greatly displeased me that I again should return to the body from the winsomeness of that place and the fellowship of saints; though I durst not say anything to the contrary. After this I was brought and requickened among men."
Drihthelm dwelt in a secret part of the mynster until his life's end, rigidly living.
He went frequently in the wintry cold to the river, and stood at his prayers in the water, sometimes to his girdle, sometimes to his neck.
He then went with the same clothes, until they became warm and dry on his body.
When any one asked him how he could bear that great cold, he answered, "I have seen a greater and worse cold."
Again, when they asked him how he could observe such rigid abstinence, he answered, "I have seen a more rigid and worse."
Thus did he in his life, and corrected many others by word and example.
We read everywhere in books, that oft and frequently men have been led from this life, and again raised to life, and they saw many places of punishment, and also the dwellings of the saints, as Gregory, the holy pope, has written, in the book which is called 'Dialogi', of a man, that his soul was led from this life, and saw many things.
Then amongst others, he saw where they were building a building, all of beaten gold, and the workmen were making the building on a Saturday, and it was then nearly ended.
He inquired then for whom the building so gloriously constructed was designed?
They told him that it was designed for a shoemaker in Rome, and also named him.
After this the dead man arose, and diligently inquired about the shoemaker, how he had acted in worldly life, and it was then found that his practice was, that he wrought his work for seven days, and sold on the Saturday; then took from his craft his sustenance,
and with bounteous spirit distributed the overplus to the poor; and therefore was the building chiefly made on the day on which he usually distributed alms.
Great is God's mercy over mankind, to those who are benevolent.
We in this life may help the departed that are in torment, and we may, among ourselves in life, aid each other to the life above, if we observe this; and those who were perfect, and have attained to the kingdom of God, may aid both us and the departed that are in torment, if they are not totally condemned.
Be glory and praise to the benevolent God ever to eternity. Amen.