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What happens to us when we die?
In death body and soul are separated. The body decays, while the soul goes to meet God and waits to be reunited with its risen body on the Last Day.
How the resurrection will take place is a mystery. An image can help us to accept it: When we look at a tulip bulb we cannot tell into what a marvelously beautiful flower it will develop in the dark earth. Similarly, we know nothing about the future appearance of our new body. Paul is nevertheless certain: “It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory”
How does Christ help us at our death, if we trust in him?
Christ comes to meet us and leads us into eternal life. “Not death, but God will take me” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).
In view of Jesus’ suffering and death, death itself can become easier. In an act of trust and love for the Father, we can say Yes, as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane. Such an attitude is called “spiritual sacrifice”: the dying person unites himself with Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. Someone who dies this way, trusting in God and at peace with men, and thus without serious sin, is on the way to communion with the risen Christ. Our dying makes us fall no farther than into his hands. A person who dies does not travel to nowhere but rather goes home into the love of God, who created him.