Dying with Christ

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Simplified

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Physical Death (1005)

To rise with Christ, the believer must experience physical death and "be away from the body and at home with the Lord" (2 Cor 5:8). In death, the soul departs from the body. They are reunited at the resurrection of the dead.

The Mystery of Death (1006-1007)

Death is the great mystery of the human condition. Faith sees death as the "wages of sin" (Rom 6:23). For those dying in Christ's grace, death is a participation in Christ's death and Resurrection.

Because of death, human life has an urgency. We have only a limited time to fulfill God's goals. "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth before the dust returns to the earth (Eccl 12:1,7).

Jesus Transforms Death (1008-1009)

Death entered the world due to man's sins because God had not destined man to die, "Through one person, sin entered the world, and through sin, death came to all" (Rom 5:12). Thus, "The last enemy to be destroyed is death" (1 Cor 15:26).

Jesus, by accepting his death, has transformed death from a curse into a blessing. "As sin reigned in death, grace also might reign for eternal life through Jesus Christ" (Rom 5:21).

Death in Christ's Grace (1010-1011)

Because the believer has already "died with Christ," death now has a positive meaning. "If we have died with him, we shall also live with him" (2 Tim 2:11). Dying physically (while in Christ's grace) completes the believers baptismal incorporation. "It is better for me to die in Christ Jesus than to reign over the ends of the earth" (St. Ignatius of Antioch).

By death, God calls man to himself. Paul wrote, "My desire is to depart and be with Christ" (Phil 1:23). "There is living water in me that says within, ‘Come to the Father'" (St. Ignatius of Antioch). "In order to see God, I must die" (St. Teresa of Avila). "I am not dying, I am entering life" (St. Theresa of Lisieux).

No Reincarnation (1012-1013)

Death ends the time which God gives us to complete his plan and to decide our ultimate destiny. There is no reincarnation after death. We shall have no other earthly lives. "It is appointed for men to die once" (Heb 9:27).

Providing for Death (1014)

The Church prays that we be delivered from "a sudden and unforeseen death." We ask Mary to "pray for us now and at the hour of our death." "Death would have no great terrors for you if you had a quiet conscience. If you aren't fit to face death today, it is very unlikely you will be tomorrow" (Imitation of Christ). "Woe on those who will die in mortal sin! Blessed are they who will be found in your most holy will, for the second death will not harm them" (St. Francis of Assisi).

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