To One Who Fears Death
apertæ tibi sunt portæ mortis et ostia tenebrosa vidisti?
gates of death been opened unto thee? Or hast thou seen
the doors of the shadow of death?"
spoke these words upon the Cross when the will of the Father
had been accomplished, done, fulfilled, consummated.
the end of our own journey, we, too, must recognize — even if we
do not see it — as the face of the Father was hidden from Christ
– that it is accomplished.
hour is come.
is the hour, not of darkness nor desolation, not of dereliction,
but of fulfillment – the Father's will has been fulfilled,
accomplished, in us. We have no more to do. Nothing more to offer.
At no other time in our existence will be be able to utter, to repeat
these unspeakably beautiful words. Only once. "Consummaten est!"
is not an end. It is a consummation; the divine purpose for which
you have been created has finally been fulfilled. Is this cause
my child ... it is cause for joy!
Fulfillment is not an ending. It is a perpetual enactment
... of perfection, of being brought to that perpetually unfolding
state that is the perfection of our being in God —Who is infinite
and inexhaustible, and ever unfolding, in greater glory still, His
being to us, before us, within us! It is ecstatic perfection.
There are no ends, only the fulfillment of being, and even
this is not an end – in fact, it is not even a fulfillment, but
yet another act of becoming, of becoming perpetually
more than we were, more than we are.
my little one, has created us in His image. It is everlasting. Beyond
this passing life on earth, He is infinitely, eternally unfolding
before us – revealing ever more, always more, eternally more, of
Himself to us.
our beholding, participating in, that inexhaustible unfolding of
ever deeper, ever greater, ever more beautiful facets of God's being,
we experience the perpetual unfolding, ever increasing perfection
of our own being that is made, enacted, in that image into which
He pours Himself inexhaustibly ... which is to say, eternally.
Death as an ending? No ... in the most profound sense it is
the end of all ending.
death? Why, my child, would you fear death?
Do you know something I do not?
Socrates asked this of those who encouraged him to flee from it.
It is, he understood, and we too must understand, the pretense of
knowledge, of knowing what we do not know, of presuming what we
have not experienced; of what no one has experienced
and subsequently revealed to us. Except for One – Jesus
what does He say about it?
"I will raise him
of my Father!"
will be with me in Paradise."
wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more,
nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for
the former things are passed away."
that believeth in Me, although he be dead, shall live."
then, would you think that — of all the experiences you
have had in your life, so many that are so beautiful — that death
will be like, not the most beautiful, but the worst experience you
had ever had or imagined? Why single out that one terrible
experience — and anticipate that death will be like it
— rather than your many beautiful experiences in life? Out
of the many, many experiences, why ... why this
Do you not see that you fear what you only pretend to know,
presume to be, fear to be – and with no
warrant whatever?! What madness is this?
Put such thoughts from your mind. They have no place there, for
they are not true — which is to say, that they are not real.
It is a snare set by the evil one. Listen not to the father of lies,
but to Jesus, the Author of Life:
of my Father!"
"Today you will be with me in Paradise."
you not yet understand that when Jesus cried out on the
have you forsaken me?",
it was our abandonment, our desolation,
our fears, our emptiness ... that
He took upon Himself ... nailing it to the Cross through His Most
took it away from us and took it upon Himself
— why — why would He have taken it ... just to give it
Shall we also pay the penalty for our sins?
would then empty His Sacrifice completely. Utterly. He would have
died in vain; died for no reason. Certainly not for you and me ...
He not take upon Himself our illnesses and fears
as well as our sins? Was this not the blood He sweated in the Garden
of Gethsemane? The fear? What would have been yours.
What would have been mine! He
spent the night in the Garden of Gethsemane so that we
would not have to!
You still fear, I see — but, really, I must ask you: Who
is it that will come to greet us in that hour?
Does not our God ever speak to us in terms of the Bridegroom to
the Bride? What, child, ought this suggest to you in the way of
death and dying?
Should we not, rather,
anticipate the moment of death as something akin to that inexpressibly
beautiful moment of conjugal climax? As an ineluctable, final, total
and unutterable culmination of joy, fulfillment so great,
that it sunders soul from body ... and finally attains
to union with the Beloved?
Not Ending ...
The moment of death is rapturous; it is a making permanent
in eternity what is fleeting on earth, in the body. Total fulfillment!
Total love consummated! An entering into God, a clinging
to Him as lover enters the beloved and clings to her at the moment
of consummation, making himself one with her, indistinguishable
from her .... when the bondage of isolation is burst and
our life becomes one with another's — but ever more
profoundly, ever more beautifully, in God Himself.
I know what you fear — but you fear needlessly. In that hour you
will not feel isolation, aloneness, emptiness, impending
darkness .... oh, no! you will feel the embrace of God in a way
that will make it impossible for your finite body to accompany your
infinite love to Him ... it will be a moment of unutterable ecstasy,
No, no, my little one ... no ... union!
Your life entering His, His life entering
yours — perfectly! He will take you to Himself!
the Bridegroom leave the bride in her chamber alone on the night
of the consummating of their love?! You will not be alone.
You will not be afraid. You will never be alone thereafter,
and never know anything of fear again. What awaits you is far more
beautiful than ever you imagined, than has ever entered your heart.
will not spurn His embrace ... you will breathlessly hasten
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St. John 6.40
2 St. Matthew 25.34
3 St. Luke 23.43
4 Apocalypse 21.4
5 St. John 11.25