Living in Christ and Choosing Death

In his letter to the Philippians from prison, St. Paul reflects on whether he should choose death or life.  "For me, life is Christ and death is gain."  Paul recognizes a deep conflict between going on living for the sake of the churches he has started, and dying to be united with Christ.  In our own lives we have the opportunity to freely choose death rather than running from the inevitable.  St. Paul's example calls us to see death as the continuation and perfection of a union with Christ already begun in this life.