Certainly we were all born to die. That’s a true statement, but it only points to a partial reality. For fuller understanding we need to peer into what lies beyond our physical death. Yes, death is the end of physical life as we know it now, but death is also a birth into a greater life. Our physical death is actually a second birth. Let me explain.
Month: March 2020
When a family member is gripped by a terminal illness, those who love that person struggle with what to tell him or her. Sometimes, because of a misguided desire not to upset the sick person, a code of silence surrounds the individual. However, we all need to be prepared for death both physically and, more importantly, spiritually. It does no service to the dying to deny them the opportunity to prepare.
The Church venerates Mary under the title Theotokos, the Mother of God. This devotion to Mary has always been rooted in devotion to Jesus himself. If Jesus was truly man and truly God in one person, and Mary was the mother of that person, then it is absolutely right to say that Mary is the Mother of God.
Death is a birth into eternal life, but not everyone will have the same destination. There will be a day of reckoning, the particular judgment, for each and every person at the time of death. Those who are “found in Christ” will enjoy a heavenly existence. Yet there is another possibility, to which Saint Francis alludes in his poem-prayer: “Woe to those who die in mortal sin!”
The way of the Cross is the inevitable way of a Christian’s heart. Indeed, it is almost impossible to imagine the Church without the devotion that goes by that name. It goes by other names, too: “The Stations of the Cross,” “Via Crucis,” “Via Dolorosa”—or just “the stations.” The practice has settled, for several centuries now, into brief meditations on fourteen scenes from the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.
If you asked me a few years ago about spiritual desolation I would not have had much of an answer for you. We all have struggles in our lives, and I’ve had my share of professional and personal difficulties, but I entered an all-time low—a period of spiritual desolation—when the bank where I worked collapsed a few years ago.