Death Is Always Tragic

Two weeks ago, I learned of the deaths of two extraordinary men: Saul Rodriguez and Albert Hendel. In many ways, they had very little in common. Saul was a seminarian with the Capuchin Franciscans, was 31 years old, and died suddenly; Albert was my grandfather, the father of ten, nearly 98 years old, and died after a number of weeks of preparation. One represents what we would call a tragedy, while the other is the ideal situation we can all hope for.

And yet, there is a sense that even in the case of Albert, something is still tragic. Death, it would seem, is always tragic.

Why, even though we believe in the resurrection, is there still the sting of death? Why, even when someone dies after a long life with little pain, are we still upset about it? Why, in a world where death is inevitable and a faith built upon it, are we so bad at accepting death? This week’s video is my attempt to make sense of it all from a Christian perspective. I hope that you will join me in praying for the families of the deceased and for all of the deceased that go unnoticed. May we all find ourselves, one day, in the heart of God with the saints.

5 Comments on “Death Is Always Tragic

  1. Awesome, Casey! Well done! Grandpop and your brother seminarian are surely
    in a better place. We need to rejoice in these things and pray that we will all join them one day – in God’s time.

  2. Casey this was an unbelievably consoling posting. I have followed you for awhile on a friend’s computer and have just signed up on my own.

    I am 25 y.o. and a fairly religious Roman Catholic. By that I mean that I must ignore some of the teachings because my spirit and my brain dictate doing so. I believe that my faith-filled conscience keeps me within God’s love and keeps me sane..LOL Several of my friends have watched your postings and inferred that you are a young man with a same-sex attraction but you’re not allowing it to keep you from moving forward in a very effective ministry. What do you say to a gay man like me who has the desire to join the seminary?
    In all honesty, you must have to deal with this situation– one of being gay or of having strong same-sex attraction to your other classmates.

    Thanks for leveling with me.


    P.S. I have a degree in psychology and another in liberal arts. I would probably come to religious formation with some solid foundation.

    • You can talk to a formations director. Regardless of where we find ourselves all christians are to resist sexual sins regardless of sexual leanings. Even married people still can have attractions that come and go. There is no magic fix. Only sex between married opposite sex persons is permitted in Catholicism. All religious people take vows of celibacy. So everyone in a monastery is supposed to be celibate no matter what. Even if you were heterosexual, in life, we still have to control temptations. Perhaps test your own spirit by going to retreats for men and see if temptation is too much. You would have to spiritualized your sexuality by knowinging your calling to service trumps all desires. The best thing is to not think about sex but dwell on other things and stay busy. When tempted just don’t act on it. I think all humans have temptations. Desires may come and go, but a person can’t dwell on them and entertain thoughts. The less it is thought of the more desire leaves. Hope this helps. Try practicing control now before going to apply and ask for God’s help through prayer. But it is a personal discipline. Sexual temptation won’t be the only issue. You will be required to do your chores, duties, and get along with people. The other monks come from all kinds of different backgrounds which makes it difficult at times. Most monks admit to me their brothers at times get on their nerves.

  3. What an incredibly powerful and moving piece on a difficult and sensitive subject. Thank you for your insight and message. God Bless you and your family in the time of sadness as well.

  4. I’m sorry for your loss Br. Casey and I’m praying for your grandfather and fellow friar. I lost my own brother back in 1994 when he was an 8 month old baby. I was 6 years old and spent months asking God why He took Him, even praying that He’d give him back. I had longed for a sibling for years before he was born. It’s only recently I realized that we know he’s definitely in heaven and we have actually a family saint (he was baptized). I now ask him to intercede for us every day! Plus, God gave me a sister a little over a year later!

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