Monday, September 25, 2023

"For to me life is Christ, and death is gain" Hmily for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2023


“For to me life is Christ, and death is gain”


As I have mentioned many times, I went into my first surgery with about 170 names of victims of Catholic Clergy sexual assault. 

When I was staying at St. Martins rectory in the winter of 2021, I started writing a book for the victims, and have emailed out that book several times.  If you are a victim of Catholic Clergy abuse who has not received the electronic copy of this book, email me and I can send you a copy.


There is another chapter, though, that I have not emailed out, and it is titled “If I were to die”

I mention this because if references today’s line from St. Paul to the Philippians: “For to me life is Christ and death is gain”


I would like to read a brief excerpt from that chapter: “I totally trust in the Providence of God, and if I should die, I would consider that a great honor…the honor of being able to imitate Jesus through to the end…All that I ask is that you do what St. Monica on her deathbed asked of her son St. Augustine.  “Remember me at the Altar as often as you are able.”  Pray for the repose of my soul, that I may one day enter the glorious light of Heaven…for as St. Paul tells the Philippians: For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.”

St. John Chrysostom 1700 years ago wrote this: “What are we to fear? Death? But St. Paul tells the Philippians “Life to me means Christ, and death is gain.” I have only contempt for the world’s threats, I find its blessings laughable. I have no fear of poverty, no desire for wealth. I am not afraid of death nor do I long to live, except for your good.”

In the book of Revelation, Jesus Christ praises those for whom “love for life did not deter them from death.”

The world is beautiful, life is beautiful…we love being alive…but we cannot let love for life deter us from death.


“For to me life is Christ and death is gain!”  May we all say the same thing…may we trust that if God decides it is our time to die, that our family will be taken care of…that everything that happens is in accord with His holy will!

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