Death is a grievous thing, both when it happens and when it is awaited, but not turning from our sins is far worse, because it increases our punishment here in this life, and afterwards dispatches us to never-ending punishments, which God forbid that any of us should experience. The terrors of the present seem unbearable, even though they pass and only affect the body, but those others punish both body and soul, without any expectation of deliverance. But let us, brethren, repent and turn back, demonstrating our penitence in word and deed. Let us fall down before God with a contrite heart, saying to Him, “O Lord, rebuke me not in Thine anger, nor chasten me in Thy wrath” (Ps. 37:1), but do unto us according to Thy mercy and not as we deserve. “As Thy greatness is, so is Thy mercy” (cf. Ecclus. 2:18). For the Lord is near to those who call upon Him if they cry out, not only with their lips, but with their understanding, directing their deeds and their preoccupations towards Him.
“Turn ye unto Me, and I will turn unto you,” says the Lord (Zech. 1:3), and “I will remember your sins no more” (cf. Jer. 31:34, Heb. 8:12; 10:17). Provided, of course, we either flee away from them never to return, or else we propitiate God through confession and works of repentance equivalent to our iniquities, reconciling Him to ourselves through active humility. Then, if God's love for us will consent to make up for what we lack, we shall be delivered now from this manifestation of divine anger, from widespread premature death and the universal destruction it causes, and in the age to come we shall obtain everlasting life, to the glory of Christ, the only giver of life.
The Homilies of Saint Gregory Palamas, Homily 39, pp. 310-311