No need to fear death PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 10 July 2017 13:52

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

DEATH, of course, is a certainty. One day it will be our turn. When or how it will come, we do not know. We however have been warned in the First Letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians that the “Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” (5,2)

So, what we have to do is to prepare for it which we should consider as a happy event. As long as we are prepared for it, we can welcome death anytime,  much like the many saints who looked forward to it. They, like St. Francis of Assissi, have even considered death as Sister Death. Death would then be properly seen as a liberation, not a curse.

We need to overcome any fear we may have of death. Any fear of death is actually without basis. If we are consistent to our Christian faith which we should not only profess but should also live out, we know that when it comes, however it comes, it is the time when God, our Father and Creator, wants us to be with him.

We know that death is just a transition from our earthly life of trial to our definitive home with God in heaven. The crucial point is that we try our best, with the help of God’s grace, to do well in our earthly life. That is to say, that we manage to develop the love we are meant to have—the love of God and love of neighbor.

That’s when death can be considered like a rose in bloom that the gardener now decides to cut in order to put it in his house.

Otherwise, or when we fail in our test of love in this earthly life, we also can be cut by the gardener but as a weed to be thrown out or burned.

That is why the consideration of death, which we should try to do everyday, should not be regarded as a sword of Damocles, but rather as booster in life, spurring us to do a lot of good. The frequent consideration of death will motivate us to do what is truly essential in life, and avoid getting entangled in the unnecessary thin.

Since death can come anytime, we should see to it that we can leave behind everything anytime without feeling any remorse. This can only happen if we do things with rectitude of intention, that is, for the glory of God, which is what should motivate all our actions.

In other words, it’s when our intentions are not quite pure that we would feel unprepared to face death. But when they are pure, we would be happy to face it and even will it whenever we feel it coming.

That’s when we can reprise Christ’s attitude toward death:

“No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again.” (Jn 10,18)

We need to discipline our mind and heart, and purify our understanding and feelings toward death, so that we can always have the proper attitude toward it everyday.