Practice Dying

This past week Tom died. He was a remarkable believer in others and in community.  He brought people together.  He loved invigorating conversation and preaching.  He helped initiate sanctuary in my former parish.  His life was remarkable as was the way he chose to die.  At home with two of his adult children his breathing became more and more labored.  They asked their Dad if he wanted an ambulance or to go to the hospital.  His reply:  “No, I do not think so.  I think I will practice dying.”  15 minutes later he surrendered his life over to our Gracious God.

The phrase ‘practice dying’ has stayed with me for the past 10 days.  What am I invited to die to?  How might I practice this?  This Lenten season has brought an awareness of my own willfulness.  More often than not, this willfulness is putting myself forward.  We are reminded during these 40 days to learn to let go.  So for my daily examen I am reviewing my day with the phrase how did I practice dying and choosing God’s life today?  What might you practice? 

KC Young, OP                           
Kirkland WA


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