Mortal Knowledge

Everyone knows they're going to die … but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently. … [T]here's a better approach. To know you're going to die, and to be prepared for it at any time. That's better. That way you can actually be more involved in your life while you're living.
Morrie Schwartz, in Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie

The Purpose of Life

Is the object of life to live? No, it is not to live but to die! And not only to hew the cross but to mount it. And to give all that we have, laughing!
Paul Claudel in Weavings


Life is a great surprise. I do not see why death should not be an even greater one.
Vladimir Nabokov, quoted in The Living Pulpit

Final Peace

When the writer of Revelation spoke of the coming of the day of shalom, he did not say that on that day we would live at peace with death. He said that on that day "There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son

Daily Reminder

Day by day remind yourself that you are going to die.
The Rule of St. Benedict

Deathbed Ignorance

I have been shocked by the number of Christian men and women who come to their deathbeds knowing nothing about the God of love and mercy. They have known instead the Judge of impossible standards, and they have been, naturally enough, afraid to meet that God.
Eve Kavanaugh, "Prayer of the Flesh"

Heavenly Banquet

Whoever does not have some foretaste of the heavenly banquet will never partake of it.
Johann Tauler, quoted in Context

Oven-fired Hope

Christian hope for life beyond death is a hope that has passed through the furnace of suffering and death. Christians affirm the good news of Easter only in the wake of the anguish of ...

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