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She said he expired last week. An acquaintance told me of her friend who recently died, and she used the term “expired.”

I don’t like that word in reference to death. I don’t believe it’s true. Milk expires. Juice expires. But I don’t think we do. Our bodies may no longer be alive, but I believe the spirit lives on indefinitely.

The belief in eternal existence comes with a hefty accountability factor, especially for Catholics. When we cross over from this life to the next, standing before the Lord to review our life will be like a visit with Santa a thousand times over. Our eternity rests on the assessment of how we used our time here. The rewards for good behavior are tremendous and unending; however our bad behavior can result in lumps of coal to fuel an eternal fire.

I’m not sure how I would act if I thought this life was all I had or there would be no price to pay for bad behavior without reconciliation. Maybe I still would try to do my best every day, just because.

I know some of you really do think that our complete existence ends with this lifetime. If you are one who believes this to be so, I’d love to hear from you. I respectfully would like to know how that feels and how that affects your daily decisions.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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