Posts Tagged ‘Death’

The Value of Unproductive Lives

Abortion and euthanasia are generally viewed by our society as solutions to problems: they get rid of burdens. The usual suspects of this “burden” are disabled children who might interfere with our way of life and aging adults who require medical care but fail to produce economic goods. In short, these vulnerable groups are sadly viewed as not contributing to society. Yet the idea that persons have to serve society in order to be valued...

Childhood RIP: The Death of Archie

The unthinkable is happening! Archie Andrews was the Dorian Gray of high school teenagers and enjoyed immunity from the ravages of time. In his case, it lasted for or some 73 years. His romantic affection for Betty and Veronica would never be consummated in marriage, but would keep his readers in a perpetual state of wonderment. He was the comic strip version of Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn” – – “Bold Lover,...

Overcoming Suffering with Love

Recently, a friend told me that he was studying the life of Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa. Blessed Alexandrina was chosen by God to be a “victim soul” – one who offers up her suffering for the sake of others in union with the cross of Christ.

She suffered tremendously, experiencing near paralysis, great misunderstandings from family and friends, and even lived out the last 13 years of her life consuming nothing...

Euthanasia Supporters Must Learn True Meaning of ‘Dignity’ and ‘Compassion’

When the nation of Belgium formally abolished the death penalty in 1996, it hadn’t executed anyone in peacetime for more than one hundred years. The Belgian government passed the abolition law because, it said, the “death penalty is a serious assault on human dignity.”

The Belgian government was right—unnecessary execution is an assault on human dignity, and an erosion of our humanity. All unjust killing is. This is why, when a...

There is no Heaven on Earth

Nikos Kazantzakis is best known for Zorba the Greek, considered his magnum opusThe Last Temptation of Christ and The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel brought him additional fame and solidified his literary reputation. He narrowly missed receiving the Nobel Prize for literature, losing to Albert Camus in 1957 by a single vote. On his tombstone on the island of Crete, his birthplace, are inscribed these words: “I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.”

These are bold...

What is Man?

C. S. Lewis once remarked, in a memorable phrase, that he had never met a mere “mortal.” What is a “mortal?” A mortal is someone who dies. It is opposed to someone who is “immortal,” who does not die. Obviously, all human beings are “mortal,” that is, each will die. Lewis meant one thing and implied another. He meant that the soul of each human person was in fact immortal. In that...

Beginning with the End

Remember man that you are dust, and unto dust you will return.”

Lent begins today with this reminder: Momento mori – “Remember, you must die.” The imposition of ashes that we receive on our forehead on Ash Wednesday is a stark reminder of this reality. The gift of life is almost always shorter than one expects. One of my classmates from grad school, Sr. Bernadette, turned heads when she told us goodbye at graduation, “Have...

The Magi and Death Before Birth

I do not think that popular sentiment has come anywhere near close to granting those extraordinary travelers, the Magi, the honor they truly deserve. These “watchers of the sky” must have been divinely inspired, in addition to being intellectually gifted, to have enough faith to leave the comforts of their homeland and embark on what must have been an extremely arduous journey.

The Magi were guided by a star, not a map. They were...