On July 26 I will be 75 years old. For young people it probably sounds very old. For myself it doesn't seem old at all, says the Archbishop of Brisbane, John Bathersby, in a speech given earlier this year, and published in the Catholic Leader.
Nevertheless whether I am 75 or 100 doesn't really matter because not far ahead we will meet Jesus face to face. I live in the hope that in the not too distant future Jesus will bless me with resurrection, not unlike the resurrection that Jesus Himself experienced after His own death.
Death can be considered a disaster, or an entry into new life that is available to each and every one of us. Does death need to be a cause for anxiety? For some people "Yes". For others it is the beginning of new life.
Late last year one of the most brilliant priests in Queensland, perhaps in Australia, Dr Tom Boland, a remarkable historian, said on his deathbed, "I feel like a school boy going home for holidays."
Twenty-four years earlier my rector at Banyo Seminary said something similar but not quite the same before he died. He said, "I will soon know the mystery of the guardian angels."
Knowing that mystery is not the great desire of most people but rather the desire to meet Jesus face to face. I talk about these matters not to cause people to be morose or fearful but rather to grasp life in our hands in order to live life out to the very best of our ability.
Life is given to us to rejoice, not to be miserable. As a gift from God it is meant to be used to change the world to the best of our ability, despite the crosses we always carry.
After years of study and prayer as priest and bishop I came to realise that the key to Christianity is love, love of God, love of ourselves and love of all people because they are children of God.
FULL STORY Life to me is Christ (Catholic Leader)