My Treatise on Dying without Fear

Dying without Fear is my sequel to Why All People Suffer and was released by Sophia Institute Press on June 20, 2023. The key concept of Dying without Fear is that suffering and death can be used by a loving and merciful God to bring us to eternal joy.  I explained in Why All People Suffer that suffering is an evil detector, put in place to teach us to go from sin to salvation and motivating us to avoid evil and obtain the good we lack. What I show in Dying without Fear  is that death is also necessary in God’s plan for human salvation, and life is good precisely because death exists.  Together with suffering, death brings out love in humanity that otherwise would be lacking and is needed for salvation.  Love is the currency of heaven and is the only thing that has value both before and after you die. 

I take up the first half of the book explaining the various ways God shows us His love.  This allows us to trust that by following Jesus we will share in His divine nature and conquer death.  This, in turn, allows us to live eternally in the presence of God, who fulfills our every need and desire. We defeat death when we cease to fear it.

I start the second section by describing the different ways people die and the implications and opportunities associated with each of them.  There are only a finite number of ways to die because making the body incapable of sustaining the soul requires a catastrophic injury, a lack of required nutrients, an infectious disease without the required immunity or that the body breaks down through cancer or a major organ failure. In the US today, 86% of people die in the final way, with ample warning that they are dying.  It is a great blessing to be able to plan for our deaths and what follows, to reconcile with God and our neighbors and to pass down our unique knowledge and assets and it is a shame if we don’t take advantage of those opportunities. I’ve made a checklist of seven items to pursue based on my own experience and study and those of my relatives.  I’ve also detailed the Catholic position on the ethical dilemmas associated with various end of life treatment situations to help people sort out the morality of the decisions confronting them in the most stressful of situations.

The third section has two purposes.  The first is to give survivors plausible reasons that God would call home their loved ones, using examples of family and friends that I knew well.  These true-life stories have the advantage of hindsight so we can see how things that seemingly were catastrophically bad at the time, worked out for the best.  My hope is that others can relate these stories to situations they face or have faced in their own lives and see that a loving God really has their interests at heart, even when it appears otherwise in the heat of the moment. The second focus of section 3 is on the five needs of the terminally ill, to help them die as well as possible. This includes how to make the best decisions on end-of-life care by best meeting their social, physical, psychological, and spiritual needs.

Dying without Fear shows the reader how God uses suffering and death to bring us to share in His nature and in His happiness.  After explaining this theologically through scripture, the catechism and the thoughts and experiences of the Saints and martyrs, I have explained them for modern audiences using my personal experience with Parkinson’s Disease and that of the dying experiences of four generations of my family.  It is my hope that the reader will use all this to come to the realization that dying and death are not to be feared but embraced as the gateway to eternal life with God, who provides all that is good, true and beautiful in the universe to those who have chosen to align themselves with Him.


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Dying Without Fear is available from Sophia Institute Press.

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Paul Chaloux was born in Maine in 1960 to Paul and Dolly Chaloux, the oldest of 6 children. He grew up in Northern Virginia and attended public schools. After graduating with a chemical engineering degree from the University of Virginia in 1982, Paul worked for over 30 years as an engineer, manager, and strategist for IBM in upstate New York. While there, he also served as a catechist for 15 years at St. Columba Parish in Hopewell Junction, NY.  In 2015, after earning a master’s degree in religious education from Fordham University and retiring from IBM, Paul was accepted into the PhD program at the Catholic University of America to study Catechetics, with the goal of teaching future catechists.  However, his plans changed dramatically when he was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Disease just after moving to Washington, DC for his studies.  His new neurologist, after learning that Paul was studying theology, asked him why people suffer. He had no answer since it was not his intended field of study, but the question intrigued him enough to cause him to take up the subject. Five years later, having earned his PhD in moral theology, Dr. Chaloux wrote Why All People Suffer for general audiences as a follow on to his dissertation, The Grace Concealed in Suffering: Developing Virtue and Beatitude, which he defended at CUA on March 5, 2020.   Dr. Chaloux currently teaches theology as an adjunct professor at the Catholic University of America and serves as a catechist at St. Agnes Parish in Arlington, Virginia. He has been married for over thirty years to his wife Sue and they have 4 adult children and 3 granddaughters.

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