Notable and Quotable (I)

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Unless [we're] aware [we're] dying and ... know the conditions of our death, we [can't] share any sort of final consummation with those who love us. Without this consummation, no matter their presence at the hour of passing, we will remain unattended and isolated.

--Sherwin Nuland, How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter (Vintage, 1995)

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine* TheologyEschatologyPastoral Theology

Posted September 27, 2009 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Terry Tee wrote:

How we need to be reminded of this.  There is a situation which has occurred from time to time which has filled me with dismay, namely, relatives summoning me to the bedside of a dying person, to anoint them sacramentally (what we used to call the last rites) but telling me at the same time that I must pretend to have called by on chance, that the dying person must not be upset by being told that their end is drawing near.  What is a priest to do?  Of course we should tell the person.  I would certainly want to know, so that I could prepare as best I could for that momentous end of this life and going to the awesome presence of God.  But somehow, in our culture, the unavoidable is also curiously the unmentionable.  When John Paul II was dying, so publicly, I found it disturbing but then realised later that he had left us a wonderful lesson, that our dying is part of our living.

September 27, 3:37 pm | [comment link]
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