Despite the many ways that humanity is divided, there is one thing we all have in common: one day, we will all die. In general, our culture has become averse to the topic of death. We try to avoid any suffering and don’t like to consider the reality that our life on earth will eventually, inevitably come to an end.
But what if we spent more time thinking about the last things—death, judgment, and eternity? “Sometimes we’re told you should write your obituary while you’re still alive. What do you want people to say about you after you’ve passed on? And then try to actually live it out,” said Cale Clarke on The Faith Explained.
It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to the house of feasting,
For that is the end of every mortal,
and the living should take it to heart.
– Ecclesiastes 7:2
“We need to soberly reflect on death because it’s going to help us to live better lives,” explained Cale.
What might that look like for you? Maybe you could spend some time at the cemetery praying for the deceased and also reflecting on how prepared you are for your own death. One way to do this is to start doing examens at the end of your day, considering what you have done well and what you need to improve on. Ensure that you frequent the sacrament of Confession and you are in a state of grace, for we know not the day nor the hour that we will be called home.
“If men knew what eternity is, they would do everything to change their lives.” – Our Lady of Fatima
Our experience of eternity is based on our faithfulness in this life, Cale reminds us. He reflected on the deaths of Jacob and Joseph in the Book of Genesis, saying that these patriarchs did not have the benefits that we do in the Scripture, the saints, and the Church’s guidance—yet they had a deep faith in the afterlife.
Hebrews 11:10 says that Abraham “was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and maker is God.” Hebrews goes on to say that the fathers of our faith acknowledged that they were strangers in exile on the earth. We should also recognize that this life on earth is not the end, it’s not the final chapter of your story. In fact, it’s just the beginning and we, like every person who has come before us and will come after us, are on a journey to our final destination of eternity.
Cale said, “These guys had faith in heaven, in the afterlife even though they didn’t have as much to go on as you and I do. We have so much more. So is our trust as good as theirs? Is our faith as good as theirs?”
Tune in to The Faith Explained with Cale Clarke weekdays at 12:30-1pm CT only on Relevant Radio.