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Reflections: Catholic Life Sctn. (Death/Dying Misc.)

Anointing of the Sick

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Death & Dying (Misc.)

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Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"Death begins at birth" (St. Gregory of Nyssa)

"Death, but not sin!" (St. Dominic Savio)

"He who has made me, unmakes me." (Bl. Eugenie Smet)

"You wont' die. Your body will."

"Two events await each man: death and judgment."

"Death alone never dies." (Liturgical Year)

"[T]he divine Redeemer [is the] conqueror of death" (Pope Pius XII, "Haurietis Aquas", 1956)

"The end of sin is death." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"[E]arthly things must give place to those of heaven" (Pope Pius XI, "Mens Nostra", 1929)

"...they shall exchange a mortal for an immortal life." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"To the good man to die is gain." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"All seek joy, but it is not found on earth." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Death is the entrance into that life for which we are made" (Lafarge)

"Life is short; death is certain; and the world to come is everlasting." (Cardinal Newman)

"The general rule for a good death is to lead a good life." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"And paying the whole debt, by slaying you have changed death into life." (St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church)

"[I]t is a great grace to know that you are going to die soon rather than to be unprepared and die suddenly"

"It is much better to lose a friend or family member than to lose God for all of eternity." (Fr. Fanzaga)

"[H]e dies not who has not at one time lived." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church)

"The body dies when the soul departs; but the soul dies when God departs." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"Our physicians cannot heal us, they can merely ward off death for a little." (Benson)

"[D]eath shall be emptied out and despoiled of his every captive" (St. Aphraates, c. 336-345 A.D.)

"[O]ur death was killed by the voluntary acceptance of death in His body" (St. Fulgence of Ruspe, 6th century A.D.)

"Preventing the first death is not what's important - it's preventing the second death that's important!"

"Jesus, I want to live as long as you will; I want to suffer as you will me to; I want to die as soon as you will it." (St. Clement Maria Hofbauer)

"[P]riests must be solicitous for the sick and the dying, visiting them and strengthening them in the Lord." (Second Vatican Council)

"[W]e too [are] pilgrims and strangers in this world, where all things are fleeting and hurry on to death" (Liturgical Year)

"All our life on earth is the truthful and exact image of a pilgrimage." (Pope Leo XIII, "Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus", 1900)

"It is a thousand times better to die with our Lord than to live without Him." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"Let death immediately stand before your eyes, and you will never desire anything bad or worldly." (St. Antony the Great)

"In hora mortis meae voca me, et iube me venire ad te - at the hour of my death, call me and bid me come to you. This is the prayer of Christian hope" (Pope John Paul II, 1999)

"O Jesus! Grant that I may die praising you, that I may die loving you; that I may die for love of you. Amen." (St. Claude de la Colombiere)

"[L]ife here below...[is]a stage in the journey to the life that will know no ending." (Pope Leo XIII, "Immortale Dei", 1885)

"...we must...look on this present life as a path to the grave. The path may be long or short, but to the tomb it must lead us." (Gueranger)

"[W]e are exiles; but alas! We are so often tempted to love our exile as though it were our home. Oh! Detach us from this earth and its vanities." (Gueranger)

"Give me Thy grace to amend my life and to have an eye to mine end without grudge of death, which to them that die in Thee, good Lord, is the gate of a wealthy life." (St. Thomas More)

"The silence of death will tell us so plainly that our life is but a vapor, the world a passing scene, its dearest hopes illusive; that God and eternity are our all and all forever." (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton)

"Be willing to languish in obedience to his will, and prepare to die when he calls you, that you may be with him and praise him forever." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"In Christ, death - tragic and disconcerting as it is - is redeemed and transformed; it is even revealed as a 'sister' who leads us to the arms of our Father." (Pope John Paul II, 1999)

"And know, brethren, that the dwelling of our flesh in this world is short and lasts but a little time but the promise of Christ is great and wonderful and so is the rest in the kingdom which is to come and life everlasting." (Pope St. Soter)

"For no sooner do we begin to live in this dying body, than we begin to move ceaselessly towards death. For in the whole course of this life (if life we must call it) its mutability tends towards death." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)

"Praised by You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whom no living man can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin. Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will, for the second death shall do them no harm." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"May the angels conduct thee into paradise: may the martyrs receive thee at thy coming, and lead thee into the holy city of Jerusalem. May the choir of angels receive thee, and mayst thou have eternal rest with Lazarus, who was formerly poor." (Antiphon)

"We are commanded to use this world as though we used it not; to have an abiding conviction of our not having here a lasting city, and of the misery and danger we incur when we forget that death is one day to separate us from everything we possess in this life." (Gueranger)

"Life on earth, however good and desirable in itself, is not the final purpose for which man is created; it is only the way and the means to that attainment of truth and that love of goodness in which the full life of the soul consists." (Pope Leo XIII, "Rerum Novarum", 1891)

"The world was redeemed by the death of one Man. It was possible for Christ not to have died, had He not willed to do so. But He did not regard death as something to be shunned, as if it were ignoble, nor did He think He could rescue us any better than by His dying. Thus His death became life for all." (St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, 378 A.D.)

"If we meditate on the fact that God did not make death, but only after man fell into the disgrace of guilt and deception did God decree the sentence that earth should return to earth, we shall discover that death is the end of sin; and if were to live longer our guilt would only be the greater." (St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, c. 388 A.D.)

"Though we are born and die here, let us not love this world; let us ever, through love of God, pass on hence; let us by charity dwell among the heights, by that charity wherewith we love God. Let us during this our earthly pilgrimage be ever occupied with the thought that we shall not always be here, and then, by leading good lives, we shall be preparing for ourselves a place whence we shall never pass on." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"Grant that we may lovingly accept your will, and place ourselves each day in your merciful hands. And when the moment of our definitive 'passage' comes, grant that we may face it with serenity, without regret for what we shall leave behind. For in meeting you, after having sought you for so long, we shall find once more every authentic good which we have known here on earth, in the company of all who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith and hope." (Pope John Paul II, 1999)

"O my God, up to now I have not thought too much about death, I have not looked into its face. And perhaps this is why I have offended you too much and have not loved you enough. But now I firmly resolve to serve you in earnest. Give me, O Lord, the strength to do so. Do not abandon me. You did not abandon me when I offended you; I therefore, hope more confidently for your help now that I propose to serve you more faithfully." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"Our Blessed Lord has already, over the grave of Lazarus, hinted that this shall be so, so soon as He has consecrated death by His own dying. 'He that believe in Me shall never die.' He, that is to say, who has died with Christ, whose center henceforward is in the supernatural, simply no longer finds death to be what nature finds it. It no longer makes for division but for union; it no longer imperils or ends life and interest and possession, but releases them from risk and mortality." (Benson)

"Human life and death are thus in the hands of God, in his power: 'In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind', exclaims Job (12:10). 'The Lord brings to death and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up' (1 Sam 2:6). He alone can say: 'It is I who bring both death and life' (Dt 32:39). But God does not exercise this power in an arbitrary and threatening way, but rather as part of his care and loving concern for his creatures. If it is true that human life is in the hands of God, it is no less true that these are loving hands, like those of a mother who accepts, nurtures and takes care of her child" (Pope John Paul II)

"In order that they may be justified, it is necessary for sinners to die with Christ, who died in their place and in their name. Then they must enter the grave with Christ, in order to leave behind the flesh defiled by sin. They must hand over the old man to the wrath of God and to the death of the sinner, so that by baptism a new man might return to life in us and live again with Christ in immortality and eternal glory. Therefore all Christians should think about that eternal life and not this brief one. They should remove from their hearts the desire for pleasures and riches which are the instruments of pleasure. Cast off pride, in which all harmful desires are contained. The world is passing away, as well as what it craves for; however, he who keeps the will of God will endure forever." (Pope Clement XIII, "A Quo Die", 1758)

"For He comes when He hastens to judgment, but He knocks, when already by the pain of sickness He denotes that death is at hand; to whom we immediately open if we receive Him with love. For he who trembles to depart from the body, has no wish to open to the Judge knocking, and dreads to see that Judge whom he remembers to have despised. But he who rests secure concerning his hope and works, immediately opens to Him that knocks; for when he is aware of the time of death drawing near, he grows joyful, because of the glory of his reward; and hence it is added, Blessed are the servants whom the Lord when he comes shall find watching. He watches who keeps the eyes of his mind open to behold the true light; who by his works maintains that which he beholds, who drives from himself the darkness of sloth and carelessness." (St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Doctor of the Church)

"While the soul is supplying in purgatory for the insufficiency of her expiations, the body she has quitted returns to the earth in virtue of the sentence pronounced against Adam and his race from the beginning of the world. But, with regard to the body as well as the soul, justice is full of love; its claims are a prelude to the glory which awaits the whole man. The humiliation of the tomb is the just punishment of original sin; but in this return of man to the earth from whence he sprang, St. Paul would have us recognize the sowing necessary for the transformation of the seed, which is destined to live again under very different conditions... The body of the Christian, which St. Ignatius of Antioch calls the wheat of Christ, is cast into the tomb, as it were into the furrow, there to leave its own corruption, the form of the first Adam with its heaviness and infirmity; but by the power of the new Adam reforming it to His own likeness, it shall spring up all heavenly and spiritualized, agile, impassible, and glorious." (Liturgical Year)

"We may doubt if God could inflict upon man a more terrible punishment than to allow him to waste his whole life in the pursuit of earthly pleasures, and in forgetfulness of the happiness which alone lasts for ever. It is from this danger that they will be happily rescued, who, in the pious practice of the Rosary, are wont, by frequent and fervent prayer, to keep before their minds the glorious mysteries. These mysteries are the means by which in the soul of a Christian a most clear light is shed upon the good things, hidden to sense, but visible to faith, 'which God has prepared for those who love Him.' From them we learn that death is not an annihilation which ends all things, but merely a migration and passage from life to life. By them we are taught that the path to Heaven lies open to all men, and as we behold Christ ascending thither, we recall the sweet words of His promise, 'I go to prepare a place for you.' By them we are reminded that a time will come when 'God will wipe away every tear from our eyes,' and that 'neither mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow, shall be any more,' and that 'We shall be always with the Lord,' and 'like to the Lord, for we shall see Him as He is,' and 'drink of the torrent of His delight,' as 'fellow-citizens of the saints,' in the blessed companionship of our glorious Queen and Mother. Dwelling upon such a prospect, our hearts are kindled with desire, and we exclaim, in the words of a great saint, 'How vile grows the earth when I look up to heaven!' Then, too, shall we feel the solace of the assurance 'that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory' (2 Cor. iv., 17)." (Pope Leo XIII, "Laetitiae Sanctae", 1893)

Also See: Death & Dying | Death (Topical Scripture)

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