Jesuit Novitiate
Novitiate of the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus

Can we live without knowing how to die?

06 Nov 2017

November 2 is the day of the year chosen to meditate about death.

The death indeed, what do we know about it? We only experienced the deaths of others, but still we all will have to live our death. So many fears like: the fear of no longer exist, the fear of the unknown that is waiting for us, the fear of separation.

There are many answers. Epicurus reassures: “Death is nothing for us: when it is there we are not there, and when we are there, it is not there”. Orazio tell us: “I will always exist, if you always want to remember me”. Sometime we can even believe that funeral ritual and burial will provide peace.

Hector says to Achilles that in the final moment of the duel: “He has now reached me at Moira. Well, I will not die without glory”: death becomes the synthesis of our existence.

Dying Socrates gives us the highest expression of his wisdom. Petronio dose the death in order to not undergo it as he sees in it supreme test.

Can we live without knowing how to die?

Death does not belong to the essence of God. Jesus, like God, cannot know death. Therefore Jesus, like all of us, suffers the separation of death and cries for Lazarus, he does not want death and calls Naim’s widow’s son to life. When Jesus is close to his death prays: “My God, my God, why are you turned away from me?”. However Jesus returns after his death, (“unde negant redire quemquam” from where no one comes back). Jesus says: “I am the way, the truth, the life. Who believes in me will not die”.

Therefore to learn to die we have to learn to live by looking for the truth and following the Jesus way, which is always and only that of Love. Through birth we have come to an unknown world, so this will happen again and maybe will be tiring.

“Full of waiting for death” Seneca said.

We can fully expect our death if we have learned to live.

Written by Umberta Parodi



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