Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 155 – Part II.
(Youcat answer - repeated) Christ comes to meet us and leads us into eternal life. “Not death, but God will take me” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).
A deepening through CCC
(CCC 1009) Death is transformed by Christ. Jesus, the Son of God, also himself suffered the death that is part of the human condition. Yet, despite his anguish as he faced death, he accepted it in an act of complete and free submission to his Father's will (Cf. Mk 14:33-34; Heb 5:7-8). The obedience of Jesus has transformed the curse of death into a blessing (Cf. Rom 5:19-21). (CCC 1010) Because of Christ, Christian death has a positive meaning: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Phil 1:21). "The saying is sure: if we have died with him, we will also live with him (2 Tim 2:11). What is essentially new about Christian death is this: through Baptism, the Christian has already "died with Christ" sacramentally, in order to live a new life; and if we die in Christ's grace, physical death completes this "dying with Christ" and so completes our incorporation into him in his redeeming act: It is better for me to die in (eis) Christ Jesus than to reign over the ends of the earth. Him it is I seek - who died for us. Him it is I desire - who rose for us. I am on the point of giving birth.... Let me receive pure light; when I shall have arrived there, then shall I be a man (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Rom., 6, 1-2: Apostolic Fathers, II/2, 217-220).
Reflecting and meditating
(Youcat comment) In view of Jesus’ suffering and death, death itself can become easier. In an act of trust and love for the Father, we can say Yes, as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane. Such an attitude is called “spiritual sacrifice”: the dying person unites himself with Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. Someone who dies this way, trusting in God and at peace with men, and thus without serious sin, is on the way to communion with the risen Christ. Our dying makes us fall no farther than into his hands. A person who dies does not travel to nowhere but rather goes home into the love of God, who created him.
(CCC 1011) In death, God calls man to himself. Therefore the Christian can experience a desire for death like St. Paul's: "My desire is to depart and be with Christ" (Phil 1:23). He can transform his own death into an act of obedience and love towards the Father, after the example of Christ (Cf. Lk 23:46): My earthly desire has been crucified;… there is living water in me, water that murmurs and says within me: Come to the Father (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Rom., 6, 1- 2: Apostolic Fathers, II/2, 223-224). I want to see God and, in order to see him, I must die (St. Teresa of Avila, Life, chap. 1). I am not dying; I am entering life (St. Therese of Lisieux, The Last Conversations).