I do not think that one can talk about life without talking about death. I believe in life after death. Without such a belief I would find life in this world very difficult and meaningless. I worry at times that my belief in the afterlife might be a cop-out. Such a belief can never become the excuse for not being involved in the struggle for understanding our present existence, for not trying to achieve some fulfillment, for not working for a more just, free and participative society throughout our globe. Life in this world is a very important reality, but it is not the ultimate reality.
In this world love of god, love of neighbor and love of self go together. In practice we are all aware of the dangers of an excessive love of self. There is also truth in the paradox that only in giving do we receive. But I believe there is a proper love of self that is compatible with love of God and love of neighbor, near and far. True growth in this world always calls for a dying to my own sinfulness, individualism and selfishness so that I might come closer to my true self in relationship to all others and to God.
Thus, in the end, life and death are not diametrically opposed. Life involves a dying and dying is a way to life.
CHARLES CURRAN, Catholic theologian, has been censured by the Vatican for his views on various issues of sexual ethics.