Blog # 409 Death
The sun makes a beautiful picture as it sets in the western sky. But it also has the power to burn our skin and contribute to cancer of the skin or cataracts in our eyes. Water is beautiful to behold as we sit by a placid lake and watch the sun come up out of the water. It is good in refreshing us as we wash in it each morning, and drink our several recommended glasses of it each day. But water can also freeze and become the instrument of our falling on the ice. I used to have two good knives in my kitchen and I kept them very sharp. The more sharp they were the more danger they were for someone who did not exert caution and possess skill in using them.
The sun is not the problem here, nor ice that comes from water, nor the sharpness of a knife. The problem is our lack of awareness and caution and a wrong or inadequate response and use of the gifs we receive.
Cancer of the skin and cataracts of the eyes are as real as the sun. Ice is as real as water.
Reflecting on thoughts like this I began to consider how suffering and death could fit into the picture.
Without the use of a hearing aid and a cochlea implant I have no detectable sensation of sound whatsoever in a normal conversation. I am fascinated by the experience of trying to understand what I am asking when I ask myself is silence as real as sound, or darkness as real as light, then saying to myself the answer is "yes", and then ask further of suffering and death can both be a gift and an invitation to experience love, and the answer again is "yes".
Our Christian response to death does not deny the difficulties they provide with regard to seeing them as a gift of an All-powerful Loving Creator. However, by force of our faith in the meaning and power of the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus and in union with Him in His unconditional trust and total love for the Father we respond with thanks and praise : Yes, Father, I want to love you this much, with unconditional trust and total love, because I believe you alone are worthy of such trust and love. I make this choice confidently because of my union with Jesus through Baptism, relying on the power won for me by Him, and joyfully because of the truth about me that Jesus brought from Heaven and You, and He said death was an invitation to experience the greatest love anyone could ever know, and it is the goal You set for me when you called me into existence here on earth eighty seven years ago.