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A personal reflection on the roman catholic faith

Posted on December 9, 2012 by Deacon Bob I am reflecting on the meaning of death in recent days. In our parishes this past week there have been many individuals who are either on hospice, were recently diagnosed with serious illness, or who have died. I have also suffered a personal loss of an extended family member. So, maybe God is asking me to take a look at the fragility of life and the dignity of a good death.

A Reflection on the Meaning of Death

I think we tend to either pathologize death or romanticize it. For so many people, even good, faithful Christians, the reality of death is surrounded by the reality of disease and illness. We associate death with the ravages of sickness and we disassociate it from life.

The two, for many of us, are contraries and we think they cannot co-exist. This seems to be solidly supported by common sense and experience, yet we know as followers of Christ and members of the Catholic fold that it is only in death that we truly receive life, and it is in this life that we will experience death.

It is at the moment of physical death that the fullness of life is unleashed for those in a state of grace and purified from all attachments to sin. Life abounds because death has been defeated, not victorious. Paul knew full well that in his flesh the death of Christ was lived, and through that death life abounded.


A death well-lived is a proclamation of the death and resurrection of Jesus. A death not sought, but accepted, is a breaking forth of glory for all eternity. There is in each of us a natural desire for life, a natural desire to live eternally.

There is an attraction for that which is true, good and beautiful. In other words, there is the pull toward the divine. Death, which is the result of an evil choice made by a man at the beginning of human history, has been transformed into the gateway through which we walk and through which we see face-to-face the God who has made us, and who originally intended for us to see him as he is from our conception.

  • We cannot escape the flesh;
  • I would describe my spiritual life, my relationship to God as both personal and communal;
  • And words of praise continue to encourage us long afterward, although we cannot remember who said it or why;
  • The love of Christ;
  • This page was printed from gnm;
  • He does it with relevant comparisons or clarifying insights we can understand.

Death also has been romanticized by many. One needs only view some war movies, or perhaps love stories to see death in this way.

  • May our words always reflect that light so that, with Jesus, we help guide others on the path of righteousness;
  • If you have no other way at any particular time in your life, no opportunity for confession, not being able to show mercy because of the depth of your hurt and anger, then drop to your knees and beg God for a forgiving heart and a merciful attitude;
  • That is why I am Catholic;
  • He currently serves two parishes in southeast Minnesota, is the Assistant Director of the Diaconate for the Diocese of Winona, and is the diocesan consultant for the Courage and Encourage Apostolate in the diocese;
  • We're so used to letting our tongues flap freely that we think this is impossible, but it's not - not if we slow down and pray constantly to allow the Holy Spirit to inspire our words.

Our contemporary society is moving toward sanitization of death. The messiness of death is something people want to be rid of now-a-days. They would rather spare someone the temporal discomforts and pain than allow them the eternal joys that a truly human and humane death would provide.