fear of death

When I was younger, I used to be really afraid of death. I don’t even mean what happens after death…but just the whole experience of it. I felt terrified whenever I thought of it. Maybe because we don’t really know what it’s like, and also because it’s inevitable. I used to panic just thinking about it.

One day, I realized that God is the same both for the dead and the living. He is the same in Heaven and on earth. And if I just hold on to Him… at least one thing will remain constant and not change, not ever go away. He will hold us all when we’re at the moment of death and will give us the strength to get through it, so we just need to stay in His grace. That thought really gave me peace.

But recently, I started wondering about death again. It’s really scary to me that it’s inevitable. I have to say though that faith in God really helps a lot. :slight_smile:

I also started thinking what awaits us after we die. Several years ago I used to read about NDEs where people described what happened to them. I liked the ones where people saw Jesus or Angels and some described going through a type of judgement. But a few really puzzled me. In those, the people met “spirit guides” and their experiences seemed very different from what we’re taught in our faith.

Eventually, I decided that:

  1. not all NDE accounts are real. Many are probably made up, especially if the author makes money off it by selling a book.
  2. the “spirit guides” could have been demons in disguise
  3. the “spirit guides” could have also been Angels, but maybe the people didn’t know what to call them, so they called them spirit guides.
  4. in a few cases, it could have been hallucinations.

I’m aware that there have also been NDE accounts where people went to hell/purgatory and later came back to earth and repented, turned to God. Or in other cases, they were judged. That really confirms the Church teaching.

I think that in everything, we should stick to the Church teaching, and if something goes against it, we should be careful and skeptical, and not believe everything we read or hear. There’s a lot of false information out there.

but then I started thinking, how it must be really scary to suddenly be put into this whole new world that we know nothing about! If the first thing you see is Jesus, Mary, Saints, Angels, or loved ones who have gone to Heaven, that is wonderful and so comforting. But what if you see demons or - scariest of all! - demons in disguise as Angels? how do you tell them from the real ones?

I also started feeling afraid for my family members and friends… what if demons will try to deceive them, what if they would succeed? all the more reason to pray for the dying, and for those who have died, offer Mass for them… and it helps to remember that in ANY case, the person would be judged first by God. I don’t think anyone who is going to Heaven would be tricked by the enemy into going to hell…? especially without judgement. God is still in charge there…

I’m thinking now, are there any ways to sort of …make sure… if possible… that when you die you will actually see Jesus or Mary (or anyone from God). I know being in a state of grace is necessary. Perhaps praying…

I seem to recall, - Our Lady gave promises to those who faithfully pray the 7 Sorrows chaplet. Is these promises approved by the Church? one of them I think was that at death, they will see the face of their Mother.

I’m sorry if I sound really frightened about all this lol… I usually am not, but for some reason, tonight I am. :shrug: it’s like the old childhood me, lol. :rolleyes:

I just want soo much for everything we believe to be true. I totally believe it’s true! But I don’t want any “afterlife” without Jesus, God, Mary, …I don’t want “spirit guides” or whatever, - Heaven is only truly Heaven if He is there.

any thoughts?

I just read this article about Pope Benedict and what he said about the Martyrs…

and it got me thinking about the Martyrs, how courageous they must have been, and how strong their faith was :slight_smile: I wish I had faith like that!

catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=34224

You know what I have those same feelings right now, I know there is a heaven and all but I’m sorda afraid to die right now because of the unknown, I don’t want to die, but when your times up its up and there is nothing you can do about it,

I think that you hit the nail on the head, Monica, when you said that if we die in a state of grace, we aren’t going to be deceived at the hour of death. The Lord just wouldn’t let that happen. You will go where your life placed you.

I also have looked into a number of NDE accounts and seen similar things to what you noticed. Some confirm Church teaching and some flat out contradict it. There also have been some images people saw, which were very interesting to me, in which they started out seeing a bright light and “spirit guides” and feeling sensations of peace, but then after a while it suddenly all dissolved into darkness and the evil kind of experience. To me, this strongly confirms our belief that some of these are deceptions. Some of the people going through them have actually gone far enough to see the deception break down.

To me, this kind of phenomenon is similar to the visions and mystical experiences many people have on Earth in which they see spirit guides or angels that give them false doctrines. Many such people have had to go through serious battles with the demonic to escape from this kind of thing, when they finally realize that they’ve been led astray. I’ve heard a few of the stories. NDE’s that lead to false doctrine or confirm bad lifestyles seem designed to mislead people in the same way as false mysticism here on Earth like New Age, Wicca and such. Perhaps the devil knows sometimes when people going through an NDE might survive the experience, so he chooses that they experience light when they’re actually heading for Hell, so that they can carry a false message back to Earth.

Some NDE’s are contradictory to one another. They don’t have a unified message about the afterlife, which proves that some of them are deceptions, just as does the fact that some of these experiences turn into Hell after starting out with light and love. Some claim everyone goes to Heaven, or talk about reincarnation and such. Others clearly affirm the reality of an eternal Hell. They are contradictory, just as spiritual experiences humans on Earth have are contradictory, some false and some true. Which just proves again why it is so important to rely on the eternal words of Christ rather than on the subjectivity of man.

But you have no reason to fear having this kind of experience when you die. If you there was any risk, the Church would have warned us. If you stay in a state of grace, you will go to Heaven. Live in Christ and you will die in Christ, and then you will live in Him again :). On the other hand, people who live outside of Christ will die outside of Him, and they are therefore as vulnerable to deception at the hour of death as they made themselves in the hour of life.

As for the Sorrows of Mary Rosary, Pope Pius VII approved it in 1815. I pray it sometimes and have found it to be very powerful.

thank you :slight_smile:

it makes me so sad to think of those people who may be deceived. They probably feel very happy at first… and trust the “spirit guides”… not even knowing that they’re going with them to an eternity of torment! :frowning: I find this really difficult to think about. I feel really scared when I think of this happening to anyone but especially people I know and love. But I guess all that we can do is have faith and pray… pray for sinners, pray for the dying especially! that they would die in a state of grace, and even if they were never strong Christians in this life, that God would use those final moments to raise them up to Him, and that they’d see Him as the Merciful Savior.

I agree. In fact, it is incredibly cruel to fill people with joy and peace and make them believe they’re going to paradise only to suddenly show them, “Surprise!” :eek: :mad: I never thought about this before, but it seems just like Satan to introduce many people to his kingdom in that way. First you tell them lies and convince them everyone will be saved, or that they will be reincarnated in a higher form of life, and then you suddenly say, “this” is that higher form of life, and poof, they’re in Hell and are the damned. This is totally sick. As I think about it, it just seems utterly Satanic.

Even worse is the idea that some people might have this kind of peace and love experience and be “sent” back to bring others in, and then they do so and find their inheritance in Hell many times greater than it would have been otherwise.

Yes. Definitely.

Just my MX$2 worth, I am not a priest:

We fear death now because we are attached to natural life, and are supposed to be. Death is a hideous interruption of our being.

But when we actually go through it, we will no longer be attached to a natural life or to a physique that can no longer hold life. At that point, we will be aware that our Spiritual Body is doing most of our breathing anyway. We will simply pass through to where we can breathe prefectly easily, in eternity.

Kind of like if fetuses had a mind, they would be terrified of birth during the first 7 months because they were not ready for fullborn life. But around 39 weeks they would raring to go.:slight_smile:

And, IMNAAHO, deception is not an issue in death. Deception is for those in human life who can still make choices and persuade others. At death, you eyes will look head-on into eternity. You will see what and Who you have looked for all your life.

Hi,

I think it’s natural for humans to “fear death”. As was stated above, we humans are sorta predisposed to want to live. That said, if your faith is strong you have nothing to fear. God is Love. His mercy is endless. Continue about your lives striving to stay in a state of grace, pray, say your rosary and you have nothing to fear. Your Mother is ever ready to comfort and console you. When you have fealings of fear, especially concerning death. Say the Hail Mary. She listens. :slight_smile:

– Cadian:knight1:

It’s interesting I came across this thread, because I had been thinking about life after death recently.
It is really scary to think about death because all I’ve ever known is life, and I really enjoy this life.

I think once you realize your own mortality you can start using every single moment in your life to do God’s work, and to live your life in a Christian way.

Anyway…

What does “He will come again to judge the living and the dead” mean?
Does that mean some people won’t have to go through death?

You are supposed to. You are a LIVING being. You can’t “be” unless you are alive.

Death is, at bottom, a disruption of our being (alive) not a new state of being.

Anyway…

What does “He will come again to judge the living and the dead” mean?
Does that mean some people won’t have to go through death?

That is exactly what it means. Cf. 1Co 15, “we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” Sleep is used by both our LORD and Saint Paul as a euphemism for Death. If you are naturally breathing at the moment of “the end,” you will not die, but you will still need a change of body, to make you eternally alive.

ICXC NIKA

I was recently reading “Spe Salvi (Saved in Hope),” the second encyclical of Our Holy Father Benedict XVI, and he sort of opened my eyes in a shocking sort of way when he began discussing “eternal life.” He basically declares that we place our hope in the promise of eternal life even though we have absolutely no idea what eternal life constitutes, how it will feel, what it will be like, etc. Through private revelation we’ve been given glimpses of someplace called “Heaven,” someplace called “Purgatory,” and someplace called “Hell,” but that’s private revelation: it gives us hope, it gives us something to look forward to, in a way, and a reason to remain faithful despite all the adversity which stands in our way, but whether or not those places are anything like that is questionable. All we know is that Jesus promised that we would be with him, and St. John, in the Apocalypse, describes all the saints worshipping Christ forever and ever with indescribable joy.

There is no certainty. I do believe, though, that for those of us who remain faithful, that we’ll have a greater chance of seeing all we desire to see when we pass from this life. I sometimes think about my own death, when I’m 80, or however old I get to be, lying on a hospital bed, and just before I breathe my last, exclaiming, “Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I love you!”

How dramatic! :o :rolleyes:

I think a better way to die would be like St. Francis who welcomed death, literally, by saying, “Welcome, Sister Death!”

Maybe, sister, the next time you fear death, why not be like St. Francis and say, “Welcome, Sister Death!” Such a warm greeting will surely knock the cold out of your bones!

:):):slight_smile:

I think it is natural to be afraid of death when we are not prepared. To the best of my knowledge here is a little advice. Whenever fear creeps in, it is the devil. He wants you to be afraid because then that means you are not trusting in God and His Mercy. Try to remember that we all have a guardian angel with us all through life helping us, praying for us, and pushing us to strive in holiness. This angel will plead before God’s Throne for you. His one job is to be your best friend and get you to Heaven. If you go to Purgatory, it is not God who sends you there, It is yourself wanting to be purified and cleansed of all your sins. And even when you are there, your guardian angel is with you praying for you and keeping you company. Then he will be the one to guide you to Heaven when you are ready. We also have St. Michael the archangel, St. Raphael, and St. Gabriel, all powerful angels waiting to defend and help you. You need to pray to the angels for assistance and strength, to live a good holy life and then to accept death as God’s perfect and Holy Will. Remember the two thieves that were hanging on crosses next to Jesus. The one that was saved was the one that accepted his death. This was a great grace from God. Another very important fact is that we all have intercessors in Heaven. The saints who have your name will help you all through your life and they also will intercede before God’s mercy for you, Just pray to them and ask for courage, and they will assist you all your life. But the most important one to remember is the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother. She will take you by the hand and lead you toward Her Son, Jesus. If you are afraid, ask her to console you. Ask Jesus to help you understand the Cross perfectly. All of us will have to die. we will all have to climb calvary like Jesus did, following Him carrying our cross and we will all have to die. But this death will be like opening the door into paradise and seeing Jesus and Mary standing there and calling us. It will be so beautiful that you would never want to go back. Many souls in Purgatory stated that in spite of all the sufferings they have to endure, they would never want to go back, now that they are sure they have been saved, they know and understand God. There are so many wonderful graces God has given us through devotions. We can say the Rosary, Pray the Way of the Cross, The Seven Sorrows of Mary, The Saint Bridget Prayers for 12 Years.And don’t forget the Divine Mercy prayers before Mercy Sunday. There are so many great promises attached to these devotions, but one must remember to keep oneself in a state of grace with frequent confessions and Holy Mass. God wants you to be saved, He wants you to trust. Ask Him for the grace of courage to accept His Will, even when it is time to depart this world.

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