What does the Church mean by the term ‘a good death’? Does it imply only that we die in a state of grace, or it is extended to other aspects, like peaceful and non-violent, of natural causes?
Traditionally, the Church has referred to a “good death” as dying after having received the final Sacraments.
What better death can one die than in a state of Grace, hopefully headed to see our father?
Just a quick caveat.
The way the Church looks at a good death is a natural passing from this world in grace accompanied by the Sacraments, prayer, etc. into the next world.
Beware of an inversion of the sacred by the culture of death.
The way the culture of death looks at a “good death” often includes suicide.
Culture of death advocates often use the word “Euthanasia” (literally “good death”) to peddle their suicidal beliefs. Suicide and its advocacy is a perversion and blasphemous inversion of an actual “good death.”
Thanks for the clarification! I wasn’t thinking of that kind of good death.
But, then, is an unnatural death in grace not a good death? ie martyrdom.
Being murdered, even if it’s for your faith in Christ, probably wouldn’t be considered a “good death” because it is cutting your work short. It can be “good” because you are putting Christ ahead of yourself, but I doubt it would be called a good death.
An unnatural death can be a good death, in the Catholic definition. Martyrdom isn’t the example I would use but a person who is in a car accident or shot on the battlefield who is able to receive the last Sacraments would be dying a good death.
The priest in Arizona who was shot in his Church died a good death. The other priest was able to administer the Sacraments before he died.
How do you know your work on earth is done? And then would you call that a bad death? Dying in the Lord is the greatest way to die for anyone, for it assures you a place in Heaven. What more can you ask for?