Posted January 12, 2009
A recent survey showed that four out of five Americans would like to know the future, even if it meant knowing when they would die. Even more revealing were the reasons people gave for wanting this knowledge. One lady said, “If I knew I would die next week, I’d go out and spend all my money!” A broker said, “I’m interested mainly in the future of the stock market; I’m not too concerned about the date of my death.”
St. Paul offers a wake-up call to those who are unconcerned about the reality of life after death: “If only for this life we have hope … we are to be pitied more than all men” (1 Cor 15:19). All of our hardships, trials, persecutions, adversities, and pains would be utterly meaningless if they had no relationship to an afterlife.
St. Alphonsus wrote in Great Means of Salvation, “Death is the time of truth: then do all worldly things appear as they are-vanity, smoke and dust.” St. Augustine observed, “When it is a question, not of dying, but of being dead, then death may well be said to be bad for sinners and good for saints” (City of God) 13)-an observation that affirmed what St. John heard from heaven: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord…. They will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them” (Rv 14:13).
Fr. John Hampsch, CMF “One Minute Meditations for Busy People”