Thursday, June 30, 2016

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 155 – Part III.

YOUCAT Question n. 155 - Part III. How does Christ help us at our death, if we trust in him?

(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 1012) The Christian vision of death receives privileged expression in the liturgy of the Church  (Cf. 1 Thess 4:13-14): Lord, for your faithful people life is changed, not ended. When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven (Roman Missal, Preface of Christian Death I). (CCC 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 keeping with the divine plan, and to decide his ultimate destiny. When "the single course of our earthly life" is completed (LG 48 § 3), we shall not return to other earthly lives: "It is appointed for men to die once"  (Heb 9:27). There is no "reincarnation" after death.            

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 Comment)

(CCC 1019) Jesus, the Son of God, freely suffered death for us in complete and free submission to the will of God, his Father. By his death he has conquered death, and so opened the possibility of salvation to all men. (CCC 1014) The Church encourages us to prepare ourselves for the hour of our death. In the litany of the saints, for instance, she has us pray: "From a sudden and unforeseen death, deliver us, O Lord" (Roman Missal, Litany of the Saints); 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.... (The Imitation of Christ, 1, 23, 1). 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 (St. Francis of Assisi, Canticle of the Creatures).     

(The next question is:  What is eternal life?)

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