Today's Wisdom

Those who do not pass from the experience of the cross to the truth of the resurrection condemn themselves to despair! For we cannot encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power
Pope Francis

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Why Hope for Eternal Life?

I know people in Lebanon and in Canada who are very sick and may die in weeks. Many more in Syria and other countries in the Middle East are close to losing their lives because of the raging war in Syria and violent acts in Egypt and other countries which brought the worst extremist violence with the so-called "Arab Spring", caused the killing of thousands of ordinary people including many Christians and Muslims and the burning or robbing of ancient Churches. But can greed destroy humanity in some of the most ancient Christian places? The tragedy of the loss of life is not limited solely to acts of extremists in the Middle East as materialist atheism in both East and West raises more questions than provides answers to human hope for life - indeed, eternal life and happiness.

When science and medicine in this fragile world fail to heal sickness, then fear of death takes hold of the person. Every creature aims to survive from the most primitive sentient to the most intelligent. Everyone of us wants to live - His loving family wants him to live too - His friends want him to live - His neighbours who knew him want him to live. So why does he die? Or does he really fully die?

It is our hope in Christ, based on much evidence, that life does not end here. For atheist/agnostic friends who wish to argue that this life is the end of man, I invite them to read Joseph Ratzinger here and Blaise Pascal on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy here. Eternal life is based on love as Christ loved everyone and loved his Father with full trust that in his Father's hands, he commended his spirit (Luke 23: 46).

For this we awake from our daily preoccupation to the reality that we too will one day leave this world. As Christians, everyone of us needs to have a relationship and a dialogue with God and to properly prepare himself and his beloved ones for that last hour on earth. Prayer to God, as Jesus himself prayed in Gethsemani, is the first step. But this is ordinarily not enough. We need to be united as much as we can with the entire Church in seeking God's forgiveness and help of the Holy Spirit for courage and enduring faith. This includes proper repentance of mortal sins through sacramental confession and reception of the Eucharist (The blessed sacrament) and/or reception of the sacrament of the sick by those who are gravely ill or undergoing a risky surgery. If this is not really possible then we believe that God knows the will and heart of everyone. Every Christian needs to be a missionary for Christ through acts of love towards all that he knows as Pope Francis reminds us. According to to the received teaching of the Catholic Church, those who have not known the mercy of Christ as Christians can still receive his mercy if, in search for the truth and prompted by the grace of God, they pass away in good will to follow his love.

Materialists and atheists will tell you there is no life after this life, but how do they know this? We have more scientific evidence about the existence of the Triune God of Christians and the resurrection.  See for example:
How science has discovered God  and also Quantum Entanglement.

I suggest we pray together this most eloquent prayer "Hail Mary" because in it we ask the one who is closest to Christ our God and sole Saviour to pray for us at the hour of our death.
"Hail Mary full of grace. The Lord is with Thee. Blessed are Thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen"

Today's Quote

"Behold I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)


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