Quote of the day

From a man who knew a thing or two about living…

“We’re going to die. Some people are scared of dying. Never be afraid to die. Because you’re born to die.”

— Walter Bruening, the world’s oldest man, who died yesterday at the age of 114.

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5 responses to “Quote of the day”

  1. Incredible longevity.

    I like his quote and it reminds me of something I read in a Vatican II document, maybe Gaudium et Spes, which refers to death a mystery that “beggars the imagination.’ Every time I think I can deal with death calmly (like Walter) I remember the other description and it’s more difficult. But maybe they’re both true.

  2. It is so amazing to me that in just a couple years, EVERYONE who was born in the 19th century will be gone.

  3. For an interesting twist on all this:

    Last year I did a one-on-one retreat with an elderly religious woman — I’ll call her “Sister Matthew” — who I knew to be a gifted spiritual director. I found out, during one of our conversations, that she actually had been for a period of time her community’s “Presiding Minister” (pre-Vatican religious sisters would have called her their “Mother General”).

    She told me the story that once they had an elderly sister — I’ll call her “Sister Ann” — in the nursing home supported by the Motherhouse. Sister Ann was clearly dying. In fact, everyone expected her to die many days before but it was very clear Sister Ann was hanging on by a deliberate force of her own will. No one could figure out why.

    Finally, another sister in the community stopped my heroine and said: “Mother Matthew, do you remember how diligent Sister Ann was about never doing anything without your permission? Maybe that is what she is waiting for !”

    My heroine told me that she went quickly to the bedside of Sister Ann and spoke very deliberately and clearly in her ear. “Sister Ann, this is Mother Matthew. Honey, you have my permission to die.”

    An hour later, Sister Ann did just that.

  4. Walter lived through (parts of) three centuries! He must have been an incredibly interesting person to know. I hope Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.

  5. My he rest in piece. I agree, Regina, he must have been an incredibly interesting person to know!

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