Good stuff from Kim Fabricius
Another seismic shift in the landscape of death in the 21st century has to do with dying as much as death itself. How do people want to die? Almost unanimously people will say that, above all, they want to die quickly – in their sleep would be ideal, next best a stroke that kills you before you hit the floor. Traditionally, however, Christians have prayed to be delivered (in the words of the Great Litany) “from dying suddenly and unprepared”. “Unprepared”? Unprepared for what? Again, for “meeting their Maker”. But, again, no Maker, no meeting – and so no need for preparation: no need for repenting and amending, for cleaning up the clutter in our souls, for repairing broken relationships, for letting go. But how can it be that Christians themselves have slipped into this cultural attitude of indifference? Could it be that, for all intents and purposes, we have become practical atheists? Nowadays people don’t talk about preparations before they die, but they might talk about arrangements after they die. Simon Cowell, him of the X Factor, the richest man on television, said in an interview that “Medical science is bound to work out a way of bringing us back to life in the next century or so, so I want to be available when they do.” Thus has “eternal life” morphed into “unending life”, the resurrection of the body into the resuscitation of a corpse. Thus have the heights of the Christian hope been reduced to an abyss of morbid designer banality.