Sometimes my imagination presents death like a blackness or ‘nothingness’ that I’ll be unaware of – just like that ‘nothingness’ I was unaware of before I was born. And I’ve read that the great young Saint Therese of Lisieux, when she was near the end of her short life, honestly admitted that she sometimes wondered if God had given up on her. (And she was a saint!) And I’ve personally heard some who are laid up in hospital say that they can’t understand why they’re finding it so hard to pray.

I’m sure that none of these experiences are sinful. I’m sure it’s just part of the fragility of being human. And I don’t think it’s much good worrying, or trying to get it straight in our mind. Perhaps it’s best simply to believe that the Father understands us - just as He understood Jesus when he felt anxious in Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-46) or “abandoned” on the Cross (Matthew 27:46).

The doubts that people have about their faith when they are approaching death are sometimes the result of their age and illness and their medication.

When stuff like imagining that “there’s a ‘nothingness’ after death” flashes into my mind , I treat it like unwanted email on my PC or iPhone. I just send it off to the Trash or Delete icon located inside my head.

- Fr Chris