My earthly desire has been crucified; . . . there is living water
in me, water that murmurs and says within me: Come to the
I want to see God and, in order to see him, I must die.
I am not dying; I am entering life.
The Christian vision of death receives privileged expres-
sion in the liturgy of the Church:
Indeed for your faithful, Lord,
life is changed not ended,
and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust,
an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven.
Death is the end of man’s earthly pilgrimage, of the time of
grace and mercy which God offers him so as to work out his earthly
life in keepingwith the divine plan, and to decide his ultimate destiny.
When “the single course of our earthly life” is completed,
we shall not
return to other earthly lives: “It is appointed for men to die once.”
There is no “reincarnation” after death.
The Church encourages us to prepare ourselves for the
hour of our death. In the ancient litany of the saints, for instance,
she has us pray: “From everlasting death, Lord, deliver us,
to ask the Mother of God to intercede for us “at the
hour of our death” in the
and to entrust ourselves to St.
Joseph, the patron of a happy death.
Every action of yours, every thought, should be those of one
who expects to die before the day is out. Death would have
no great terrors for you if you had a quiet conscience . . . .
Then why not keep clear of sin instead of running away from
death? If you aren’t fit to face death today, it’s very unlikely
you will be tomorrow . . . .
Praised are you, my Lord, for our sister bodily Death,
from whom no living man can escape.
Woe on those who will die in mortal sin!
Blessed are they who will be found
in your most holy will,
for the second death will not harm them.
581 St. Ignatius of Antioch,
6, 1- 2:
582 St. Teresa of Avila,
583 St. Thérèse of Lisieux,
The Last Conversations.
Preface I for the Dead.
48 § 3.
Litany of the Saints, 43.
The Imitation of Christ,
1, 23, 1.
590 St. Francis of Assisi,
Canticle of the Creatures.