By Ivonne Hernandez
“Tomorrow your tears will cease. Oh, when will the day of our complete resurrection also come! Alas! Death takes away the chains of our mortality only in small portions. Yes, we may need daily deaths to reach the great day of eternal life of love!”  – St Peter Julian Eymard
Death. This is not my favorite topic. In fact, if I am honest, I can say that I hate death. My father died when I was a little girl and I still have many wounds that need God’s healing touch. When I think of death, I think of loss, sadness and suffering. These are not things I look forward to, but the fact is that death is a part of life. We all know we are going to die, and everyone we know and love is going to die too. If we look at death by itself, we see only the separation, but when we see the Cross, we see the Way to Heaven.
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.”(1 Cor 11:26) We are called not only to remember Jesus’ death, but to proclaim it! “We adore you oh Christ and we bless you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.” This instrument of death, in the hands of Jesus, has become our salvation. Every time we proclaim it, we are reminded of the Truth: Jesus conquered death! We have nothing to fear.
St Peter Julian tells us that “in order to remove the bitterness and horrors of the cross which are intertwined with this life, Jesus in his love made his cross blossom with the flowers of Paradise.”  Our way to heaven is marked by many crosses and many deaths, “daily deaths”, which little by little set us free, taking “away the chains of mortality”. If we unite our crosses to Our Lord’s then our way will be paved with those same flowers. Our bodies are dying, and our “old selves” are dying, and these are actually good news, for we live in the hope of the resurrection.
“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” (Rom 8:15) When fear of death comes to haunt me, I will look at the Eucharist and remember. I will proclaim His death and His victory. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away.” (Rev 21:4)
 From a letter written on April 11, 1846 to Miss Marguerite Guillot, The Life and Letters of St Peter Julian Eymard Vol 1
 From a letter written on October 10, 1867 to Mrs. Lepage, Counsels for the Spiritual Life
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We are Ivonne J. Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.
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