Are You Afraid To Die?
“We are here to get out of here.”
Richard Salbato – December 13, 2011
What I have to say about this subject may surprise you. Most of you will expect me to say that we should not be afraid to die, but I am surprised that so few are afraid to die or even think about it. How many of you even think about your own death and what that means?
me there are only three things important, 1. Birth, 2.
Life, 3. Death. Nothing else is important. We cannot control
our birth or where we are born. We can be born in the depths of
Why don’t we fear death?
Psychology says the only fear is the unknown. What is more unknown than death? Even for those like me that think they know what will happen after death, we are very unclear because we have never seen the other side of death and most of it is a mystery.
let us first look at the entire world and their ideas of death. In fact, let us look at history and histories
ideas of death. When you look at the
Cain’s descendents felt they could bypass death by building a link between earth and heaven. Jews never spoke of Heaven and in no writings do you find this concept.
Confucius was one of the great minds of all times when it comes to living in peace and harmony in this life, but when asked about God he said: “I do not speak about what I do not know about.”
Buddha wanted to find a link between the body and the intellect but never talked of death and the afterlife.
after the life and death of
Mohammad came along combining Jewish and
The Philosophers then came and went as far as science and logic could go ----- “I think, therefore I am.” That is good but do we stop thinking when we die, and if we do are we no longer an “am”?
Based on the thinking above it is no wonder that people do not spend any time thinking or fearing death. Because of my Catholic training and faith I think I understand what happens after death, but that does not take away my justified fear of it. I think I know but I am not sure what will happen. And the unknown should be feared.
Throughout history people could not imagine that life ended after death so they made elaborate ceremonies over their dead relatives and turned people like Confucius and Buddha into gods.
Others invented reincarnation, some believing they came back as other persons, others believed they came back as animals, and even others to the stars. But no one knew anything for sure and all this was just to avoid the fear of death, the greatest unknown.
There is a big war right now in the Catholic Church as to who can enter Heaven. There are the ultra-conservatives that say that unless you are baptized in the Catholic Church, accept its historical teachings and partake in the Eucharist you will not be saved.
ultra-Liberal Catholics say that all
before we get into the proof that no one knows for sure what happens after
death, let us look at the most talked about doctrine which is Hell. Hell is the
hardest doctrine to understand because we think of God as all loving. How can a God put someone in Hell forever and
ever and ever just because of how he lived on earth for such a short time? I
cannot explain that and will not try, but what I can contemplate is how bad the world would be if there were
not a Hell. Even if you will not admit it all of us respond to reward or
punishment. We love someone but that love goes cold if that person does not
love us in return (reward). We want to punch someone in the mouth because of
some harm, but we don’t because of what might happen to us (punishment). This
is how societies are formed and how they work to get the greatest harmony. They decide what is good and bad and then
pass laws that create reward and punishment. Why do we think that a God would
not do the same thing? For those of us who believe in a
The Communion of Saints
For me the greatest advantage I have when it comes to death is the fact that I am a Catholic. The fact that I am a Catholic means that I belong to the Communion of Saints. What is that? That means that the saints and angels in Heaven, the souls in Purgatory, and all the good works of the Catholics on earth I can share in before and during my death. When Father Malouli died, he was the saint of Our Lady of Soufanieh, Myrna had a vision of him in Heaven and he spoke to her. In spite of that, when I told some Orthodox people that I offered his prayers in union with every Mass I attended they did not understand what I was talking about. “But he is dead?”
The fact that I offer every Mass said throughout the world for my sins is also a great advantage for me because a Mass is offered to the Father every minute of every day throughout the world because the world is round. It is hard to believe that anyone can get to Heaven who is not a Catholic. That is hard for me, but I am not as strict on that as others in my faith. I have reasons for my not being so strict.
Those reasons have to do with logic which comes from extrapolation in reading scripture and concluding that God cannot contradict God.
me give you an example of logic through extrapolation. Scripture says that Enoch
and Elisha were taken up to
and logic shows that
this same logic we have to conclude something about the “
Emmerich says that Heaven is like a great round disk, with a great Kingdom in the center, and then large outer rings coming out from there and each ring less beautiful from the other but all full of love and happiness. In the center is the Kingdom with the beatific vision and life with God, but the other rings are also Heaven, just not as great.
I am not going to judge God in who belongs in His Kingdom. That is for God to judge. On the other hand I am not so hateful that I think so many people will not make it to Heaven who for no fault of their own are not Catholic.
We should Fear Death
OK, let is get back to FEAR OF DEATH. I believe that we should fear death. Think of the greatest of all Catholic Saints of the Twentieth Century, Padre Pio. When he knew he was dying he went to confession. Then he called for a priest to go to confession again because he felt he forgot something. A few hours later he called again to go to confession again. In spite of his saintly life, he feared death.
The reason for this Newsletter is that I think we should think about death each and everyday of our life no matter how old we are. We should wake up in the morning and say, “What if this is my last day?” We should go to bed at night and say, “What if I do not wake up?” Nothing is more important in your life than how you die.