I used to believe that death signified the end. Whenever I would hear the word uttered I would become fearful, not knowing the truth. On a Sunday afternoon in Mass I found out what the truth really was. My family and I attended Mass every Sunday, and up until that particular Sunday afternoon, I really wouldn’t put forth my best effort to pay attention. Something just felt different about this Sunday in Mass though, or was it me finally being mature enough to listen? Perhaps, but I truly believe that it was something deeper, like a voice inside me telling me to pay attention. To me the church looked and felt bigger that day, the altar seemed wider, the pews looked longer, and strangest of all, the eyes of Jesus on the cross were looking right at me!
I listened closely throughout the Priest’s Sermon, he was talking about how most of us take life for granted, and that we all should cherish the time we have here because we don’t know what’s going to happen to our souls when we die. He said that heaven is obviously the place where we all want to end up, but we should not think we’re all going to easily wind up there. It takes work. My heart sank. Up until that point I honestly thought that when we died, it was just over. I was probably too ignorant to not give it more thought beforehand, but fortunately for me it was better late than never.
If I completed a survey today and asked people if death meant the end to them, I guarantee more than half would agree to this notion that I once felt. I never took the time to realize what really happens to people when they die, I mean sure, the bodies are dead, but what about our souls? Don’t they have to go someplace? I know this can be a provocative statement I made since many of us have different religious beliefs.
We believe that our souls either go to heaven, hell, or purgatory for the rest of eternity when our time is done on earth. Let’s put various religious beliefs aside for a second, if I think about it long enough, I come to find that my soul must go somewhere. I may not believe its heaven, hell, or purgatory, but I must be aware of the fact that my soul doesn’t simply parish when my body does. Souls live on forever, and we all should consider ourselves privileged if we are on earth for longer than most others are. I for one have been fortunate enough to live a very happy and blessed life thus far. My one true hope is that it will carry on after my time on earth passes. I used to believe that death signified the end. I now believe that it is just the beginning.
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