Easily bruised by another’s cross look as a child, I abhorred judgments of any kind lest I be skinned alive. In no way could I staunch the bleeding or remove gangrenous tissue from my psyche, already swollen with festering resentments.

Of especial terror was one of the articles of faith in the Athanasius Creed: He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. As a parochial school child, I was required to memorize the entire prayer from which it came, despite its unintelligibility. But God judging me—that I did get. Only beneath the dark recesses of my unconscious could I keep its sting at bay, but lesser judgments still immobilized me.

Fast forward to the present with its practice of Twelve-Step living and recovery.

As I continue harvesting each day’s insights related to my transition, I happened upon an astounding correction of that dreaded article of faith in the Hungarian-born Jesuit Ladislaus Boros’s The Mystery of Death – Awakening to Eternal Life (a 2020 reprint of the 1965 edition). His chaste mind drew the mentorship of his Jesuit brother, Karl Rahner and the heart-fire of another, Teillard de Chardin, both of whom opened him to the mysteries of the Cosmic Christ.

In the spring of 1959, Boros experienced a mystical revelation concerning the moment of death: its boldness, surprise, and inherent authority, a far cry from theological ruminations. Its thesis reads: Death gives man the opportunity of posing his first completely personal act: death is, therefore, by reason of its very being, the moment above all others for the wakening of consciousness, for freedom, for the encounter with God, for the final decision about his eternal destiny.

 Joy infuses my whole being alive with this decision, one that I will make.