Afraid to Die?

By Marc Massery

Turn to any page of St. Faustina's Diary, and you'll find spiritual gems, like this one:

I must … act in all matters now as I would like to do and act at the hour of my death (226). 

Are you prepared to die? 

Many in our culture don’t like thinking about death, especially those without any faith in God. Ironically, those same people go on living like they will live forever. They comfort themselves by saying that they have plenty of time and go on doing whatever they want to do. For them, death is an inconvenient truth that they simply ignore until they’re forced to face it. 

But you know the truth: you are frail and mortal and you could die at any time. Keeping death in mind reminds all of us to take advantage of the time we are given to set things right with God and with one another. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “[R]emembering our mortality helps us realize that we have only a limited time in which to bring our lives to fulfillment” (1007).

So, how would you live if you knew you would die today? You’d make peace with God. You’d clear the air with your family and friends. You’d do what you believe God is calling you to do, uninhibited by what other people may say or think. 

Why is death so uncomfortable to think about for many? Well, we weren’t originally made to die. Death only entered the world when sin entered the world. Saint Paul wrote, “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). Without faith, death is scary. Only the grace of God can release us from this fear. Saint Paul continues, “Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life” (Rom 6:3-4). 

If you have faith but you’re still afraid of death, tell the Lord about it. He wants us to be at peace with our own mortality. Ignoring death only denies the truth and prevents us from properly preparing for it. In the end, the best we can do to prepare for death is to try our best every day to follow the Lord with all our hearts and trust that when our time comes, He will take care of us. 

Photo by Bret Kavanaugh on Unsplash

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