Theology for the Long Haul

Friday, December 31, 2010

Life and Death in the New Year

"Many people make it their policy to not talk about death, even though it is certain to visit all of us. Our lives move along a deathward trajectory that none of us, even the most vigorous, can avoid. Not only do thousands of people die each day, but it is the horizon before which we rise from our pillows every morning. The Italian playboy Casanova, for instance, resented the thought of death because it threatened to remove him from the stage of history before the end of the show. Simone de Beauvoir suggested that death instills anxiety precisely because it is “the inescapable reversal of our projects.” Whatever the reason for one’s aversion, the fact remains that children continue to kneel beside their beds testifying to this reality: “If I should die before I wake, I pray thee, Lord, my soul to take.” In this way, every nap anticipates death, a foreshadowing of the real thing, a fact that every theologian must keep firmly before his or her eyes."

Life and Death in the New Year

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