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"A Priest Gives a Dying Man His Last Rites" (1493). Wellcome Collection.

Now and at the Hour of Our Death

Issue Two

Christians desire a "happy death," one that is neither sudden nor unforeseen. They want to face death prepared: vigilant, amends made, sins confessed, in the company of their loved ones and the saints, all interceding for them at their appointed hour. But such a death is only possible if one is responding to a call from the One who has vivified their lives all along. Absent that, one can only want to be taken unawares or put to sleep "mercifully," then annihilated with the compost. The unhappy deaths we are witnessing today represent not first a moral crisis, but a crisis of meaning.

Humanum: Issues in Family, Culture & Science
Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family
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