Death in regard to Second Vatican Council

17 May 2022

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send by mail Imprimer

At first glance, death seems to be the consequence of illness, or that of an accident, or of unavoidable old age. Yet, the real cause of death is not biological but spiritual. What does the Catholic Church say about death, and in particular the Second Vatican Council? Milestones by Rev. Fr. Don Martin Panhard.

The mystery of death in regard to the Second Vatican Council

In its Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the modern world (Gaudium et spes), the Second Vatican Council tackled the topic of death from the perspective of the mystery (N°18). Obviously, due to its very nature, death is a mystery. It is a passage to the “after-life”,and represents a leap in the alien “world”. yet, the mystery we are talking about is not so much that of death but that of the death of the human being as such. Man remains a mystery to himself and the experience of dying does reveal it to him. “It is in the face of death that the riddle of human existence grows most acute.”

Death is the consequence of sin

At first glance, death seems to be the consequence of illness, or that of an accident, or of unavoidable old age. Yet, the real cause of death is not a biological but spiritual. Referring to the Scriptures, the Council recalls “that bodily death from which man would have been immune had he not sinned”. According to our faith, the inherent reason of death is a spiritual one; hence, it is from a spiritual standpoint that we ought to prepare and address it.

The meaning of Christian death

What ever the fate of our body, it remains that “God has called man and still calls him so that with his entire being he might be joined to Him in an endless sharing of a divine life beyond all corruption.” The Good News we want to witness to is that death itself is no more a hurdle in the project of God. On the contrary, it becomes the ultimate stage whereby the passage (return) towards Life takes place. To such an extend that the Catholic Church Catechism ventures to affirm (N°1010): “Because of Christ, Christian death has a positive meaning”.

The grace of a good death in the Second Vatican Council

Moreover, human beings “rebels against death”. Even the “prolongation of biological life is unable to satisfy that desire for higher life which is inescapably lodged in his breast.” Therefore one can approach death in hope and, better still, in faith: the death we undergo will one day be vanquished. “Christ won this victory when He rose to life, for by His death He freed man from death.” Furthermore, “(…) faith provides the answer to his anxiety about what the future holds for him. At the same time faith gives him the power to be united in Christ with his loved ones who have already been snatched away by death; faith arouses the hope that they have found true life with God.”

Don Martin Panhard, Chemin in C.E. 258 –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most read posts

Notre-Dame Libératrice

Prayer to Our Lady of Montligeon

Our Lady of Deliverance, Have compassion on all our departed,Especially those who are most in need of the Lord’s mercy.Intercede for all those who have gone before usAnd may the purifying love of God lead them to full deliverance.May our prayer, united with the prayer […]

Read post

Resurrection, reincarnation, what’s the difference?

Reincarnation or metempsychosis are trendy in our Western societies. These beliefs steeped in Buddhism and Hinduism confess an afterlife and a righteousness that rewards our acts at the end of our earthly life. This assertion is shared by the Christian faith in the resurrection. However, […]

Read post

To see also

Inscription à
la fraternité


Continue reading

Prière pour les défunts

Is praying for our dead and hoping they are saved incompatible?

We would love to know whether or not our deceased loved ones are in Heaven. Is praying for our deceased and hoping they are saved incompatible? If it is impossible to know, we must trust that they are in Heaven and pray for them tirelessly.

Lire l'article
2022-12-19 With Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York

Montligeon mission to the USA

In 1897, Fr. Buguet visited the United States where the spiritual charitable work he had initiated merely a few years earlier had diffused. Mid-December 2022, Fr. Paul Denizot, the rector of Montligeon followed his footsteps.

Lire l'article
Etre chrétien facilite-t-il le travail de deuil

Does being a Christian facilitate the stages of mourning?

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross identified 5 stages experienced by the kin: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Sister Cecilia would rather speak of the various “states” in mourning, because the course – or rather the courses – involved in mourning are not undeviating. Moreover, emotions can play hide and seek and often waiver from one to another as well as be overwhelming.

Lire l'article
Subscribe to the newsletter