Food for thought

At one time or another, some of us may have a hard time accepting death, ours or someone else’s. The idea of the unknown can be daunting, even overwhelming.

May 08, 2014

At one time or another, some of us may have a hard time accepting death, ours or someone else’s. The idea of the unknown can be daunting, even overwhelming.

“It is in regard to death that man’s condition is most shrouded in doubt,” says the Catechism of the Catholic Church in No. 1006.

The catechism acknowledges some of our distress is natural, given that this life is all we’ve experienced and know (No. 1007): “Our lives are measured by time, in the course of which we change, grow old and, as with all living beings on earth, death seems like the normal end of life.”

Yes, death is the end of our earthly experience, the catechism explains, but it is not the ultimate end. In the teachings of the church we find comfort because we're told that death was “transformed” by Christ.

After death, we will live again. We won't live an “earthly” life, just as Jesus didn't return to his earthly life. And it is this uncertainty that may cause the angst we experience when facing death.

“This ‘how’ exceeds our imagination and understanding,” says the catechism in No. 1000. “It is accessible only to faith.” -- CNS

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