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Life Everlasting

[18] And there came to him the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying: [19] Master, Moses wrote unto us, that if any man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed to his brother. [20] Now there were seven brethren; and the first took a wife, and died leaving no issue.

[21] And the second took her, and died: and neither did he leave any issue. And the third in like manner. [22] And the seven all took her in like manner; and did not leave issue. Last of all the woman also died. [23] In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise again, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife. [24] And Jesus answering, saith to them: Do ye not therefore err, because you know not the scriptures, nor the power of God? [25] For when they shall rise again from the dead, they shall neither marry, nor be married, but are as the angels in heaven.

[26] And as concerning the dead that they rise again, have you not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spoke to him, saying: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? [27] He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You therefore do greatly err.

Matthew 12:  18-27

 

 

 

 

 

After my son Larry died, in a few months to be five years past, I wrote this:

 

Without God my dead son would be nothing, I would be nothing and all that I love would be nothing.  With God, this brief life is a mere doorway into splendor unimaginable and a love that surpasses understanding.  In the grief I experience now I truly understand, with my heart, as I always have with my mind, my utter and absolute dependence upon the grace, mercy and love of God.  Throughout my life God has given me a fairly easy path.  Now a harder path beckons, and my family and I must walk it with the same faith in God that we walked the easier path.  However hard the path I know the joy that await for those who walk it in faith, the same indescribable joy my Larry is now experiencing.

 

God did not make us only for our brief mortal lives, but to share eternity with him.  In that eternity we will receive the Justice that so often eludes us here below.  As Saint Paul noted, if our hope in Christ was limited to this life, Christians would be the most pitiable of all.  But our hope is not so limited.  God’s love for us is stronger than mortal death, and our hopes are mere faint reflections of the glory that await the Just in Heaven.

The more one thinks about it, the worse it becomes. He got through so easily! No gradual misgivings, no doctor’s sentence, no nursing home, no operating theatre, no false hopes of life: sheer, instantaneous liberation. One moment it seemed to be all our world; the scream of bombs, the fall of houses, the stink and taste of high explosive on the lips and in the lungs, the feet burning with weariness, the heart cold with horrors, the brain reeling, the legs aching; next moment all this was gone, gone like a bad dream, never again to be of any account. Defeated, outmaneuvered fool! Did you mark how naturally-as if he’d been born for it-the Earth-born vermin entered the new life? How all his doubts became, in the twinkling of an eye, ridiculous? I know what the creature was saying to itself! “Yes. Of course. It always was like this. All horrors have followed the same course, getting worse and worse and forcing you into a kind of bottleneck till, at the very moment when you thought you must be crushed, behold! you were out of the narrows and all was suddenly well. The extraction hurt more and more and then the tooth was out. The dream became a nightmare and then you woke. You die and die and then you are beyond death. How could I ever have doubted it?”

The Screwtape Letters

 

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July 28, 1861: Death of Sullivan Ballou

Thirty-two years old in 1861, Sullivan Ballou was already well-established in life.  Married with two sons, he was a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, and had served as speaker of that body.  When Lincoln called for volunteers, he did not hesitate, and enlisted as a Major with the Second Rhode Island infantry.  At the battle of Bull Run he received what would prove to be a mortal wound.  His right leg was amputated and he succumbed to his wounds on July 28, 1861.  Before the battle of Bull Run he wrote to his wife a timeless letter of love and hope for the future beyond the grave: Continue Reading