Sat. Sep 26th, 2020

We are all going to die. We all know that, and we all prefer to not think about it. To have a certain fear of death is normal. We have many fears related to death.
There is the fear of pain. Many of us have watch loved ones die, and while there is often peace there is also pain the accompanies the process.
There is the fear of the unknown. If you are going on a journey to a place you have never been and you are travelling by a mode of transportation that you have never used you will certainly have a great deal of apprehension.
There is the fear of leaving loved ones to grieve. I don’t want those I love to feel the pain of loss that I have felt when someone I loved died. I don’t want my children to miss their father and for my wife to face life without her partner.
There is the fear of being judged. I love the Lord and I am a disciple, but have I done enough. Have I loved enough? Maybe I have been too comfortable while others have been in distress. Did I do enough to help them?
While all of these are natural fears they should not cause a virtual paralysis in us. I know and have known people who have an inordinately acute fear of death, maybe you do. And I am not talking about the normal apprehension mentioned above. I am talking about an almost obsessive fear that cripples us and makes it difficult to live our lives. This kind of fear of death does not stop us from dying, but it does keep us from living.
If we are Christian we should have a certain joy about the notion of death. We believe that Jesus conquered death. We believe that we will one day be resurrected like Jesus. We believe that we will behold God without the veil between us. We believe that we will be what or who we were actually made for. So while it is natural to be apprehensive about certain aspects of death, it is not the Christian norm to be paralyzed by the fear of death.
We’re not made for this world; we are sojourners here. Our true home is heaven and it is for heaven that we were created. We are square pegs trying to fit into the round holes which are of this world. Death is our path to our true homeland.
— Pat Arensberg is the Director of the Office for Evangelization and Family Life. Email him at
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