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There are no dead people
By MIchel Quoist

There are no dead people, Lord. 
There are only the living, on earth and beyond. 
Death exists, Lord, 
But it's nothing but a moment, 
A second, a step, 
The step from provisional to permanent, 
From temporal to eternal.
As in the death of the child the adolescent is born, 
from the caterpillar emerges the butterfly, 
from the grain the full-blown sheath.

Death, grotesque character, bogey-man of little children, non-existent phantom, 
I don't take you seriously, 
But I am disgusted with you.

You terrify the world, 
You frighten and deceive men, 
And yet your only reason for existing is Life, and you are not able to take from us those that we love.

But where are they, Lord, those that I have loved?

Are they in ecstasy, taken up with holy loving in harmony with the Trinity?

Are they tormented in the night, burning with desire to love with an infinite love?

Are they in despair, condemned to their own selves because they preferred themselves to others? Consumed with hate because they can no longer love?

Lord, my loved ones are near me, 
I know that they live in the spirit. 
My eyes can't see them because they have left their bodies for a moment, as one steps out of one's clothing. 
Their souls, deprived of their bodily vesture, no longer communicate with me.

But in you, Lord, I hear them calling me, 
I see them beckoning to me, 
I hear them giving me advice, 
For they are now more vividly present.

Before, our bodies touched, but not our souls. 
Now I meet them when I meet you. 
I receive them when I receive you. 
I love them when I love you.

Oh, my loved ones, eternally alive, who live in me, 
Help me to learn thoroughly in this short life how to live eternally.

Lord, I love you, and I want to love you more. 
It's you who make love eternal, and I want to love eternally.

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