Should We Fear Death?

Are you afraid to die?

It’s a common question, as far as philosophical questions go, because it’s one of the few things common among all human beings. Whether you’re rich or poor, sick or healthy, man or woman, you will die someday. It’s also one of the few things that we can’t control. We can do our best to ensure that we live a long and prosperous life, but God could call any one of us home at any second. So, if death is out of our control, inevitable, could be painful, and could happen at any second, why wouldn’t we be afraid to die?

Josh Raymond welcomed Father Joseph Johnson back onto The Inner Life to discuss the common fear of death and why it’s unnecessary in the context of Catholics who remain faithful to Our Lord.

From the Catholic perspective, we shouldn’t fear death unless we have done something to warrant condemnation to hell and haven’t repented. That is the only time in which death presents a threat to our souls. If God should decide to call us home before we’ve resolved to ask for forgiveness, death is every bit the threat that our culture has made it out to be.

On the other hand, if we are firm, baptized believers in Jesus Christ that have stayed the course as He instructed, we have nothing to fear. We don’t know how or when we will die, but we know that it is the next step in our journey as Christians. This is what it was all for, everything we did on earth. Without death, we never reach our goal of spending eternity in heaven with God.

“Some people think, ‘Well this is a bit morbid that you want to look ahead, that you want to be prepared for death, that you want to examine death, whenever it might come for you.’ But it really isn’t morbidity,” said Josh. “It’s not some fascination with death for us as Christians. It’s actually having this hope to eventually be united with Christ, to be more fully alive in Him.”

Father Joseph agreed, emphasizing the fact that we are all going to die and that’s an idea not enough people realize or think about. In past generations, death was more in your face because we didn’t have the medicine, healthcare, or protocol for dealing with death that we do today. Death has been covered with a tarp so that nobody should have to face it until they want to or feel comfortable with it.

We live in an age where medicine is more advanced than it has ever been and doctors are more skilled than they have ever been. But as reliant on science as medicine is, it’s still not perfect. We grow old and die, and we have to acknowledge that that day will come when God decides, not us.

Father Joseph said that he is often asked to go to hospitals to administer the anointing of the sick, some recipients being on their death beds. When he speaks to them, whether they’re comatose or conscious, he tells them, “I want to help you prepare to meet Jesus.” And sometimes, the family will get upset with him, saying that they just want their family member to fade away. That’s not quite how it works. We need to read the signs and do our best to anticipate our judgment before God.

If you were going to meet the creator of the universe, the arbiter of life and death, wouldn’t you want to be prepared?

Tune in to The Inner Life weekdays at 11am CT

John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at and on the Relevant Radio® app.