Death

Photo by Aachal on Unsplash
Our earnest prayers for the dead are of a piece with our striving, with God’s help, to live a good life and to die a holy death. We live every day trusting in the divine love and mercy. That trust extends into eternity.  Until we all meet in Christ.[i] Among the assurances of faith which give us most comfort at a time of bereavement is the promise of being reunited in the Lord with our dear ones. Our faith in the resurrection of the body reassures us that in the presence of God we...
The design of the All Souls’ Chapel in the church of the Sacred Heart, Wimbledon is remarkable.  Approaching it, perhaps the first thing to notice is the reredos.  On this vividly carved altarpiece, the artist, Drysdale, was trying to show the diverse multitude of souls approaching Christ for mercy. The countless dead.  The carving shows the Holy Souls marching towards a place just below a Christus who is the Sacred Heart. This march is not a danse macabre: Drysdale introduces no...
Beautiful flowers dying by Daria Shevtsova
The philosopher and spiritual writer, Raissa Maritain, died some months after suffering a stroke. During those months she lay in a hospital bed, unable to speak. After her death, her husband, the renowned philosopher, Jacques Maritain, in preparing her journals for publication, wrote these words:     “At a moment when everything collapsed for both of us, and which as followed by four agonizing months, Raissa was walled in herself by a sudden attack of aphasia. Whatever...
Sunrise - Copyright Graham Loveland and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons.
Death is a stark reality of our existence.  No one  escapes its clutches.  Faced with this there is, understandably, a tendency even among Christians, to fear it and avoid the subject.  Yet the question stares us in the face:  what us the meaning of life and death?The answer is in what we  celebrate at Easter, because One death changed the meaning of all deaths.  The death of Christ on Calvary reversed the meaning of life.  Whereas the world sees death as...
Retire-toi Satan by James Tissot
Fr Gerry Gallen SJ, Chaplain to St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney, gave the following homily for the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A). The reading was Matthew 16: 21-27.Poor Peter! Last week he was the rock on which the Church was to be built; this week he’s compared to the devil himself! But misunderstanding and being misunderstood is all part and parcel of the cost of discipleship.The word discipleship comes from discipline and discipline is never warmly welcomed! Peter is...
Assurance sign
In His farewell discourse, Jesus contrasts two kinds of peace: a peace that he leaves us and a peace that the world can give us. What is the difference?  The peace that the world can give to us is not a negative or a bad peace. It is real and it is good, but it is fragile and inadequate.It is fragile because it can easily be taken away from us. Peace, as we experience it ordinarily in our lives, is generally predicated on feeling healthy, loved, and secure. But all of these are fragile....