DEATH: "Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, the bell tolls for you!"
Small or tall, dark or light, male or female, young or old, one thing they all have in common: the phantom of death soon or later will knock at their door. A wise old woman-catechist stated: "Death is the most certain of all realities, but it is also the most uncertain." Death, nobody escapes it; however, nobody knows the day, the hour, the moment, nor the manner nor place! Still, the most important moment in our life is the moment we die and "how" we die! To die in the state of sanctifying grace--- in God's Friendship-- is the greatest of graces. Why? Salvation, heaven, will be ours for all eternity! How can we be prepared to die so as to live forever, let us see!
1. NO TO SPIRITUAL DEATH! Avoid mortal sin at all costs--- this is "Spiritual death". If one dies in mortal sin-- this is the worse--- it is what the book of Apocalypse calls the "second death". This results in the eternal loss of the soul for all eternity!
2. FALLEN, GET UP! If you fall into mortal sin, get up by a good confession immediately! Do not let the sun go down on your living in mortal sin.
3. LIVE EACH DAY IN THE LORD! Live each day as if it were the last day of your life! Indeed, it could be. Jesus will come like the thief in the night. Be prepared!
4. REWARD! Remember your reward: heaven! The reward for the faithful servant is tremendous:HEAVEN! No trial, suffering, setback, anguish is too great if we think about the award that awaits: to be with God forever and ever! "Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it entered the mind of man the wonderful things that God has prepared for those who love Him."
5. PRAYER! St Augustine coined a memorable maxim: "He who prays well, lives well; he who lives well dies well; he who dies well, all is well." This says it all! Learn to pray well and your death well be holy! Give time, effort and energy to improving your prayer life!
6. SAINTS! Look to the saints; read their lives; pray to them! They have made it home safe and are our "best of friends" to help us by example and prayer to have a holy and happy death.
7. NOVEMBER. Especially in the month of the November to reflect every day on the "Last Things": death, judgement, heaven and hell! Briefly, every night before retiring, remind yourself of these eternal truths! One day I will die, be judged and either be saved or damned! These serious, eternal truths, once understood and prayed over, are powerful tools for conversion of life!
8. BEGGARS FOR THE GREATEST GIFT! When all is said and done, the only thing that really matters in this life is to attain the reason for our existence, our Principle and Foundation, the salvation of our immortal soul. Therefore, a day should never pass in which we do not beg the Lord Jesus for the salvation of our soul---- the grace of a holy and happy death-- as well as the salvation of our family as well as the salvation of the whole world. "For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. " (Chaplet of Divine Mercy).
9. SHORTCUT TO THE ETERNAL GOAL. (John 6) In unequivocal and clear words Jesus paves out the way to die well and to live forever: Nourishment on the "Bread of Life". Jesus says and repeats this all-important message: "I am the Bread of life. Whoever eats my body and drinks my blood will have everlasting life." The body indeed will die, it must die! But the soul will live forever if its nourishment has been "The Bread of Life in Holy Communion." Proposal: "Give us this day our daily bread"....May this "Daily Bread" be daily Holy Communion. Then we will die physically only to live eternally in heaven! Take the shortcut!
10. MARY: THE KEY TO HEAVEN! Get into the habit of preparing yourself at least 50 times a day for your death--- for a holy death--- by saying the prayer that Mary loves most: the Hail Mary and the Holy Rosary. "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen" If said faithfully, the Holy Mother of God will be at your side and attain for you a holy and happy death and present you to Jesus, the fruit of her holy womb and heaven will be yours. The last words of St Bernadette were: "Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for me poor sinner now and at the our of my death. Amen"