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The last words of the dying have long captured the popular imagination. Why this abiding interest in exit lines? Perhaps because these final wordsspoken in hope or fear, joy or sorrowprovide a view from the border between this world and the next.
As this provocative and sometimes amusing collection illustrates, those who have gone before leave us with much more than helpful epigrams or witticisms. Paul Thigpen points out that their final words can actually "point us to fundamental realitiesto the very heart of God." Even those sinners and strays who failed to live their faith may reveal much about the final shape of things to come.
From comforting to sobering, these selections provide food for thought regarding the nature of Christian hope and the promise of eternal life.
PAUL THIGPEN, Ph.D., is editor of The Catholic Answer, a bimonthly magazine, and executive director of The Stella Maris Center for Faith and Culture in Savannah, Georgia. A nationally known speaker, award-winning journalist and bestselling author, he has published more than thirty books, including Blood of the Martyrs, Seed of the Church: Stories of Catholics Who Died for Their Faith (Servant) and The Rapture Trap: A Catholic Response to End-Times Fever (Ascension).