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Noting the Final Corporal Work of Mercy

I’m fond of noting the final corporal work of mercy, to bury the dead. It shows the high regard Christians have for the body, which isn’t a husk to be shucked away, but the flesh our Savior took on and sanctified, and which will be raised again.

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“I look forward to the resurrection of the body,” declares the final sentence of the Nicene Creed, “and the life of the world to come.” Dust returns to dust, but what is sown in corruption arises in incorruption, and the corn of wheat that enters the earth in mortality bears the fruit of immortality…. We wait. To the faithful heart, every pulse brings us closer to our ultimate gain. Yes, death is a fearful thing, and we need not be ashamed of the fear. But we are not alone. There, at our side, is Jesus.

—from the book Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (book and CD) by Anthony Esolen, Ch. 11: Consolation

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