How often do you think about death?
It’s 2012, and no year has brought on as much conversation about the end of the world since the new millennium. It seems like there is an ever-increasing collection of movies, shows, and even guidebooks warning us of our possible doom.
Death is scary. It’s a violent act where the soul is taken from the body. It’s only really measurable by the lack of a pulse, and no device, no matter how specific or sensitive, has been able to add a calculable measure for a soul. Still, it is very obvious when the soul is gone.
If you’ve ever seen a dead body at a funeral or anywhere else, I’m sure you will agree with me that there is something that feels so unnatural about seeing a body in that state.
I have often wondered how it would be if the body came back to life, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in those thoughts. All we have to do is look at the Zombie craze.
From World War Z to The Walking Dead, zombie stories have proven endlessly fascinating to many around the world and even more profitable for media producers. In the words of Gotye “You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness. Like resignation to the end, always the end.”
The concept of bodies coming back to life is a very strong reminder of the true purpose of our bodies to have life in them. We were not created for death.
We are still caught in this condition where we are anxious for the eternal life but are still fearful of unknown end of our mortality. This is where it can be easy to get caught up in despair.
It’s possible that the fascination on zombies shows humanity longing for something beyond an end where we lie six feet under. Even if it’s not always openly admitted, people recognize that we are living in some dark times and that the party on this earth can’t go on forever.
Once the soul has left the body, there are some weird things that can happen as the muscles relax, such as movements, groans, and even belches. Yes, it’s a bit creepy, but not as much as the threat of a soulless body, with an intent to hurt or even kill. Thank God that as much as the body works against the soul because of its constraints, a lifeless body is not an enemy to anyone.
Unfortunately, we have more complex, sophisticated, and stealth enemies on this earth. Taking this into consideration, we would almost wish that the forces against us walked funny and could be strategically attacked with bullets. Don’t be mistaken, our enemy is real.
We Christians understand that even though we walk in the valley of death, we shall not fear, because we have a true reason for hope (Psalm 23:4). The enemy is real, but we know which side has already won.
Now back to the original question, how often do you think of death?
Did you know Catholic tradition encourages to think of it daily? Ok, so maybe not explicitly, but the Church does encourage a daily examination of conscience. This helps us to develop better consciences and work harder on our spirituality daily. It reminds us that we are meant for more than this reality, and that how we live in this life affects what happens after death.
Don’t give in to despair. Always be ready, for we know not the hour of the end, but live a life that reminds the world of the beauty for which we were created.