I sense it may be time to bring this discussion of death to a close. I have been attempting to make the thought and experience of death more tolerable by looking at the church’s teachings. However, the best source would be found in Sacred Scripture in St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians:
“…although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. [Not our choice] Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are home or away. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.”
This succinct passage from St. Paul validates our discussion. First, we are at home in the body and we like it here and are afraid to leave because it is familiar. Next, we know that we are away from the Lord and this situation cannot last. We are taught this by our faith. Therefore, we would rather leave and go home to the Lord, but we cannot choose this, because it is not for us to decide. Consequently, we try to live the best life we can while we are here in order to please the Lord, because we know we must all come before the judgment seat of the Lord. We do not do evil because this would offend the Lord and He would not allow us into heaven.
My dear brothers and sisters, let us continue to do good and avoid evil so that we may not fear death, but rather welcome it as a step from this life to a better, eternal life.
Fr. Anthony R. Batt
Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church