d) Death

deathTop Quotes: Death

  1. “I am the resurrection.
    Anyone who believes in me, even though that person dies, will live.” (Jesus)
  2. “Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted.” (Jesus)
  3. “The foolish fear death as the greatest of evils. The wise desire it as a rest after labours and the end of ills.” (St Ambrose)
  4. “We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” (Teilhard de Chardin)
  5. “Death is ruthless… It is sanity to look death straight in the face and it is madness to go on living and try to pretend it isn’t there.” (Fr Robert Nash)
  6. “What is most important is always to keep ourselves well prepared for a sudden departure.” (Pope John XXIII)
  7. “We believe that when we die, we will come face to face with God. Our eyes, closed by death will be opened once again. We will stand before God, each one of us with our own story, our love and our sins; with all that we have done, both good and bad; whether out of love for God and our fellow men or out of contempt and hatred. This encounter, we firmly believe, will be decisive for all eternity.” (“A Little Catholic Catechism”)
  8. “Our encounter in death with the risen Lord will involve a personal and unique review of our lives.” (Fr Brian Grogan, S.J.)
  9. “On the Day of the Lord, when Jesus comes again in glory, all the dead will rise and their souls will be reunited with their bodies — a transfigured and glorified body for the just, but a body filled with suffering for the damned.” (“A Little Catholic Catechism”)
  10. “It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” (Old Testament, Book of Maccabees)
  11. “I must always keep myself familiar with the thought of death not to sadden myself but on the contrary to fill with wisdom, joy, and calm the span of life that still remains.” (Pope John XXIII)
  12. “The encounters of the risen Jesus with his disciples are characterised by welcome, joy, appreciation, hospitality. They give us hints of what is in store for ourselves when we meet the risen Lord in death.
    I can come as I am, not when perfected by my own efforts. I come as someone simply trusting in the great love of God that never ends.” (Fr Brian Grogan, S.J.)
  13. “We can pray as they do in the Russian liturgy for a death ‘without blame or pain.’ May our passing be a rejoicing.” (Dorothy Day)

Death:
Full Quotes and Sources of Quotes

“I am the resurrection.
Anyone who believes in me, even though that person dies, will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”

— Jesus (John 11:25, the New Jerusalem Bible translation)

“Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted.”

— Jesus, part of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:4, the New Jerusalem Bible translation)

“The foolish fear death as the greatest of evils. The wise desire it as a rest after labours and the end of ills.”

— St. Ambrose

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

— Teilhard de Chardin, French Jesuit, paleontologist, biologist, and philosopher

“Death is ruthless. Death will never take no for an answer. That is why Christ warned us to be ‘always ready, for at what hour you think not, the Son of Man will come.’…. It is sanity to look death straight in the face and it is madness to go on living and try to pretend it isn’t there.”

— Fr Robert Nash, S.J., in ‘My Last Book‘, 1983, Dun Laoghaire: The Glendale Press

“My eighty years of life completed tell me, as they tell you, dear Severo, and all the members of our family, that what is most important is always to keep ourselves well prepared for a sudden departure, because this is what matters most: to make sure of eternal life, trusting in the goodness of the Lord, who sees all and makes provision for all.”

— Pope John XXIII, “Good Pope John”, in a letter to his brother Severo, 3 December 1961, as published in his autobiography ‘Journal of a Soul’, revised edition 1980, published by Geoffrey Chapman, page 360.

“We believe that when we die, we will come face to face with God. Our eyes, closed by death will be opened once again. We will stand before God, each one of us with our own story, our love and our sins; with all that we have done, both good and bad; whether out of love for God and our fellow men or out of contempt and hatred. This encounter, we firmly believe, will be decisive for all eternity.

The prophets of Israel, and Jesus too, describe this meeting as a judgement. God’s eyes search the very depths of our being. There will be no way to hide or make excuses. The infinitely just God knows our weakness and takes account of it; the infinitely merciful God searches to see if we humbly acknowledge our faults and place all our hope in his mercy. At this judgement the sentence will fall: reward or punishment, happiness or damnation, the bosom of Abraham or eternal fire, hymns of praise or weeping and grinding of teeth (Mt 8:12), dancing at the Wedding Feast or fruitless hammering on closed doors (Mt 25:1-13). These are powerful images. They are intended for us who are on our journey, so that we may be converted, change our lives, root ourselves firmly in the love of Christ — in faith, hope, and charity….

Death marks the end of our earthly life and the beginning of eternal life. The soul separates from the mortal body…. On the Day of the Lord, when Jesus comes again in glory, all the dead will rise and their souls will be reunited with their bodies — a transfigured and glorified body for the just, but a body filled with suffering for the damned.”

— Section 13.3 of ‘I Believe: A Little Catholic Catechism‘, 2004 (This book carries an approval stamp from the Vatican, Congregatio Pro Clericis, for being a reliable text and a useful instrument of catechesis)

“It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.”

— From the Old Testament book of Maccabees (2 Macc 12:46), Douay-Rheims translation

“The upright, though he die before his time, will find rest. Length of days is not what makes age honourable, nor number of years the true measure of life; understanding, this is grey hairs, untarnished life, this is ripe old age.”

— The Book of Wisdom (also called the Book of Solomon)(Chapter 4, Verses 7-9, the New Jerusalem Bible translation)

“Our encounter in death with the risen Lord will involve a personal and unique review of our lives against the backdrop of God’s agape-love…. It is the stance we each take regarding Jesus and his commandments to love others that determines how we will spend eternity.”

— Fr Brian Grogan, S.J., in the November 2014 issue of The Sacred Heart Messenger magazine in the article “Where to From Here?: Universal Reconciliation”

“After death, which is the separation of the body and the soul, the body becomes corrupt while the soul, which is immortal, goes to meet the judgement of God and awaits its reunion with the body when it will rise transformed at the time of the return of the Lord. HOW the resurrection of the body will come about exceeds the possibilities of our imagination and understanding.” (205)

“… The meaning of the death of a Christian becomes clear in the light of the death and Resurrection of Christ our only hope. The Christian who dies in Christ Jesus goes ‘away from the body to be at home with the Lord’ (2 Corinthians 5:8)” (354)

— Sections 205 and 354 of ‘Compendium: Catechism of the Catholic Church’, 2005, English translation by Libreria Editrice Vaticana (published by Veritas)

“I must always keep myself familiar with the thought of death not to sadden myself but on the contrary to fill with wisdom, joy, and calm the span of life that still remains for me here below.”

— Pope John XXIII, “Good Pope John”, reflections while on a retreat 12–18 December 1937, aged 57, as published in his autobiography ‘Journal of a Soul’, revised edition 1980, published by Geoffrey Chapman, pages 245-246.

“Death opens us up into an encounter with the risen Lord who is on our side and loves us through and through. The encounters of the risen Jesus with his disciples are characterised by welcome, joy, appreciation, hospitality. They give us hints of what is in store for ourselves when we meet the risen Lord in death. I can come as I am, not when perfected by my own efforts. I come as someone simply trusting in the great love of God that never ends….

  • Will the risen Jesus take the initiative and come to meet you as he met the women on their way from the tomb (MT 28:9), or as he entered through locked doors to meet the disciples? (Jn 20:19)
  • Will you experience him as different, yet the same, as the disciples did? (Jn 20:14; 21:4; Lk 24:16)
  • Will you hear yourself called by your name, as Mary of Magdala in the garden heard her name called by a familiar voice? (Jn 20:16)
  • Will you know him then as Mary did, and with relief fall to your knees and cling to him? (Jn 20:11-17)
  • Will he walk with you, as he did with the disciples on Emmaus Road, and invite you to give your account of what happened over your lifetime? (Lk 24:13-24)
  • When you have told your story with all its hopes and disappointments, will he then ‘open the scriptures’ and explain everything to you, especially the hidden meaning of your sufferings, which in fact were the raw material of your glory? (Lk 24:26-27)
  • Will your fears melt away when he says, ‘Peace be with you!’? (Jn 20:19)
  • Will he say to you as he said to the fisherfolk at the lakeside, ‘Come and have breakfast!’? (Jn 21:12)
  • Will he invite you to bring to him your catch, the gleanings of a lifetime — the things that you did in love, which alone will last? (Jn 21:10 1Cor13:8)
  • Will he acknowledge your actions of kindness and love, and say to you, ‘Come you whom my father has blessed, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world?’ (Mt 25:25-34)
  • Will he then take you aside as he did Peter, address you by name, and ask you simply and humbly, ‘Do you love me?’ (Jn 21:15). And will you find yourself stammering, ‘Lord, you know everything: you know that I love you’? (Jn 21:17)
  • Will he commission you to some special role of care for those you have loved who are still in this world? (see Mk 16:15; Mt 28:19; Lk 24:47; Jn 20:21-23; 21:15-17)
  • Will you then be like the disciples, incredulous with joy and amazement, experiencing multiple overwhelmings of glad surprise? (Lk 24:41; Jn 20:20)”

— Fr Brian Grogan, S.J., on pages 2426 of the printed edition of ‘The Sacred Heart Messenger‘ magazine in an article entitled ‘Where To From Here (20): ‘Come as You Are”, one of a series of articles adapted from his book ‘Where To From Here?: The Christian Vision of Life After Death’ (Dublin: Veritas, 2011. US edition 2012)

“Catherine of Genoa, whose biography was written by Baron von Hugel, said that Purgatory is the next happiest place to Heaven. A cheering note—we all acknowledge the need for purging.”

—Dorothy Day (page 356 of her book, ‘Selected Writings’; 2005, London: Darton, Longman and Todd)(excerpt from her newspaper, October-November 1976)

“Meanwhile, in the joys and sorrows of this life, we can pray as they do in the Russian liturgy for a death ‘without blame or pain.’ May our passing be a rejoicing.”

—Dorothy Day (page 350 of her book, ‘Selected Writings’; 2005, London: Darton, Longman and Todd)(excerpt from her newspaper, October-November 1973)

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