Very few people relish the prospect of death. Yet the time will come for us all.
As we know from the beginning of the Bible, death comes for us because we descend from Adam and Eve, the original sinners. The Creator made us to live; the Devil tricked us into choosing to die.
Death, then, naturally does not appeal to us. It attacks us like an enemy, thwarting our greatest good, which is to live.
But: This is a case where it pays for us to listen to the Lord when He says: “Love your enemies.”
Death looms like an enemy. But we can learn to love this enemy. We can make this enemy a friend.
Christ did not want to die. The prospect repelled Him utterly. But He took up the cross with serene hands, because His death opened the way to paradise for all the sinful children of Adam. Christ made death His friend, so that He could use death to conquer the real enemy, Satan.
We can do the same.
Our dead loved ones lie not in the hands of an enemy, but in the embrace of this friend. By praying for those we love, we stay closer to them than any other means of communication could possibly allow us to be.
It would be great if we could meet our dead loved ones this month, give them a hug, and then relax and enjoy some Thanksgiving football. But when we pray for them at the altar, we come even closer, because we lift their souls up to toward heaven with our prayers.
There will plenty of time for relaxing when, please God, we make it to heaven by way of our friend, death. In the meantime, our job is to pray.
[BONUS: Click HERE if you would like to read a catechesis on the Four Last Things.]