Yes, He is risen! Yes, Christ has conquered death! But are we ignoring the obvious?
Have Christians lost sight of the powerful natural and supernatural aspects of dealing with the end of our earthly life?
In this special 100th episode of the Art of Catholic, I bring back John Henry Crosby, founder and president of the Hildebrand Project for a fascinating discussion revolving around a small, but powerful book titled Jaws of Death: Gate of Heaven by famous 20th philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand.
You might remember both John Henry and von Hildebrand from my very first episode of the Art of Catholic. In that episode, we discussed how von Hildebrand was a major thorn in the side of Adolf Hitler.
In this episode we’ll discuss some thought-provoking insights from von Hildebrand about our passing out of this life and into the next, such as:
- Why too many Christians take the “horror of death” too lightly
- Identifying hints of the eternal in natural life
- How the death of a loved one points to eternity
- Why natural life without death would be a kind of Hell
- The vital role of beauty in preparing us for a faithful death
- How the virtue of hope prepares us for death
It sounds weird, but dwelling on death was never so enlightening:).
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My mom passed this last January after 9 years of lung cancer. She went to mass everyday and took care of her mother for 7 years. Two weeks after she died, I dreamt of her coming to me, I was in my bed and she climbed in and we started crying together. The only words between us were: I said to her: Mom!, Do you know that you died, she looked at me like I was crazy and said I am not dead. As a devout Catholic myself I know that. Then about a month ago, I dream’t of her again, this time I asked her if she had seen God? She told me it was too hard. I started to cry in my dream.
Do you know what this may mean?
Hi, Bonnie. First of all, my condolences on the loss of your mother. I lost my mom to cancer, as well, and know how difficult that can be. With regard to the dreams…I don’t have the gift of Joseph in the Bible as far as interpreting them. My advice would be to just take them as they come and use them as inspiration to pray for your mother. (Perhaps it was “hard” for her to see God due to purgatory…in which case she definitely needs your prayers.) God bless you!