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264

Part One

My earthly desire has been crucified; . . . there is living water

in me, water that murmurs and says within me: Come to the

Father.

581

I want to see God and, in order to see him, I must die.

582

I am not dying; I am entering life.

583

1012

The Christian vision of death receives privileged expres-

sion in the liturgy of the Church:

584

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.

585

1013

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,

586

we shall not

return to other earthly lives: “It is appointed for men to die once.”

587

There is no “reincarnation” after death.

1014

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,

we pray”;

588

to ask the Mother of God to intercede for us “at the

hour of our death” in the

Hail Mary;

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 . . . .

589

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.

590

581 St. Ignatius of Antioch,

Ad Rom.,

6, 1- 2:

Apostolic Fathers,

II/2, 223-224.

582 St. Teresa of Avila,

Life,

chap. 1.

583 St. Thérèse of Lisieux,

The Last Conversations.

584 Cf.

1 Thess

4:13-14.

585

Roman Missal,

Preface I for the Dead.

586

LG

48 § 3.

587

Heb

9:27.

588

Roman Missal,

Litany of the Saints, 43.

589

The Imitation of Christ,

1, 23, 1.

590 St. Francis of Assisi,

Canticle of the Creatures.

2676-2677