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On the Theology of Death

posted Nov 6, 2017, 4:14 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Nov 6, 2017, 4:15 PM ]
Celebrating All Saints and All Soul’s Days this week—two liturgies rooted in the belief that life is changed, not ended, with death—I ran across the Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner’s essay On the Theology of Death and wanted to share this excerpt:

“The great and sad mistake of many people—among them even pious persons—is to imagine that those whom death has taken, leave us. Where are they? In darkness? Oh no! It is we who are in darkness. We do not see them, but they see us. Their eyes, radiant with glory, are fixed on our eyes full with tears. Oh, infinite consolation!

Though invisible to us, our dead are not absent, but living near to us, transfigured: having lost, in their glorious change, no delicacy of their souls, no tenderness of their hearts, no especial preference in their affection. On the contrary, they have, in depth and in fervor of devotion, grown large, a hundredfold.

Death is, for the good, a translation into light, into power, into love. Those who on earth were only ordinary Christians become perfect.”

And yet, people who mourn naturally need human consolation. Our Resurrection Choir provides a warm and caring liturgical presence that goes a long way in helping grieving families. Besides singing, it provides leadership in the spoken responses of the Mass, which is especially helpful to those who might not be familiar with Catholic liturgy. If you're free mornings, consider joining us. There are no rehearsals, so it’s ideal if your schedule is limited but you still want to be part of a parish ministry.