Thursday, January 8, 2009

On the good fortune of lengthy dying

I note that today, Fr. Richard Neuhaus has died. I met him once, but that's of no matter. He was extremely fortunate to go through the process of dying twice. I say fortunate, because a slow death can be a very good thing. This was pointed out to me recently by an elderly woman in my parish who remarked that some of her friends hope for a quick death: "Not me," she said. "I want to linger so that I can repent and do penance!"

This is a good way to look at it. Given what's at stake in every death, the eternal destiny of a human soul, it's a good thing to take some time.

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