The death of St. Joseph-- dying in the arms of Jesus and Mary
The Italian mystic, prayer-warrior,
stigmatic, and “Doctor of the Church”, Saint Catherine of Siena expresses
clearly the two most important moments of our life: now and at the hour of
Immediately, a bright light crosses
our memory: the Hail Mary! Right! In the last part of the prayer, so dear to
the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Hail Mary, we recall the same words: pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
Given the primary importance of these
two moments let us reflect upon, meditate in our hearts and pray over how we
can live out our lives in such a way so that the last moments of our lives will
be pleasing to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who will come to judge the living
and the dead.
In the following short essay we will
offer five concrete ways so that we will be prepared to die well so as to live
forever with the Blessed Trinity, Mary, the angels and saints in heaven.
PREPARATION! We prepare for many things: before a sports
event, before a surprise Birthday party, before going out on a date, before
taking an exam. Should we not prepare
for what is of greatest importance—a holy death so as to be with God forever in
The loving embrace of the Father and the Prodigal Son
SIN AND REPENTANCE. We are all sinners, and the Bible says that
the just man falls seven times a day. If
you have the misfortune of falling into mortal sin, never despair, but trust
God all the more! However, strive to make a perfect Act of Contrition
immediately and head to the confessional as soon as possible. Living in mortal
sin is “Spiritual Russian Roulette”.
Jesus warns us time and time again to be ready because we know neither
the day nor the hour of our death. “It
will come like a thief in the night.”
IMITATE THE SAINTS: LIVE EVERY DAY AS
IF IT WERE OUR LAST. One of the
common hallmarks in the lives of the saints is their keen awareness of the
shortness of life. The Psalmist
expresses this poignantly: “Our life is like the flower of the field that
sprouts up in the morning and withers and fades in the evening.” The saints live each day of their lives as
if it would be their last. Indeed it could be! The days and hours of our life
are uncertain and our existence is precarious to say the least. Each morning as we rise and consecrate
ourselves to Jesus and Mary we should make the firm proposal, in imitation of
the saints, to live this day with an intense love of Jesus and Mary, a fiery
zeal to save souls, and a firm purpose to carry out our duties according to our
state of life with the greatest purity of intention and perfection!
Fervor in receiving Holy Communion
FERVENT HOLY COMMUNIONS. (Read John 6: 22-71) The Bread of Life Discourse. Jesus teaches
very clearly who He is and what He wants and what He promises those who obey
Him. Who is He? “I am the bread of life.” He is truly present, Body, Blood, Soul, and
Divinity, in Holy Communion. What does Jesus want? Clearly, Jesus the Bread of Life,
wants each and every one of us to receive Him in Holy Communion with faith,
devotion, and love as often as possible.
Could it be that in the Our Father when we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” that Jesus exhorts us to receive
Him even on a daily basis? Try it! You will be on the Highway to Heaven! The Promise of Jesus? Very clearly stated and repeated by Jesus in
the Bread of Life discourse---- HEAVEN!!!!
Listen to the words of our Master and Savior. Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen I say to you, unless you eat the flesh
of the Son of man and drink His blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever
eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him on the
last day.”(Jn. 6: 53-54). Clear as a bell! Heaven is promised to those who
constantly nourish themselves on the Eucharist, the Bread of Life.
The spiritual classic of Brother Lawrence: Living in the Presence of God
LIVE IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD. Brother Lawrence arrived at a high degree of
holiness by undertaking one simple practice: living in the presence of God!
Another woman Doctor of the Church, St Teresa of Avila, points out that we sin
because we forget or become oblivious to the presence of God. Try to utilize
reminders that constantly call to mind the Presence of God. Scapulars, Miraculous medals, Holy cards and
images like Mary and Divine Mercy, the medal of Saint Benedict, Crucifixes, and
praying the Angelus at 9:00, 12:00 and 6:00 p.m. and finally the practice of short ejaculatory
prayers--- all of these can keep us become aware of God’s all-pervading
Presence in our lives. Saint Paul quotes a Greek poet to refresh our
memory: “In Him we live and move and have our being.”
HAIL MARY AND THE ROSARY. Finally, a
most powerful means to attain to a holy and happy death is the constant
presence of Mary in our lives. We should
never underestimate the power that Mary has in our lives especially that
critical moment when we die and pass from this life to the next to go before
the Judgment seat of God! If we have
formed the habit of praying the Hail Mary--- better yet--- the most Holy Rosary
on a daily basis at the moment of our death, we have an all-powerful friend,
ally, and Advocate. That person is Mary, the Mother of God, the Mother of the
Church and our Heavenly Mother. If
during the course of our lives we have prayed fervently and with faith every
day the Rosary, saying fifty times a day, “Holy
Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen”
then undoubtedly Mary will be present to us in our last and dying breaths to
beg the mercy of God and His forgiveness for our sins!
Our Lady of Lourdes and the Holy Rosary
Friends in Jesus and Mary, let us
often call to mind who we are, why we are here, where we are heading and how to
get there! We are son/daughters of God
through Baptism. We are here to get to heaven. How to get there? By obeying
God’s commandments and loving him constantly and fervently. If our philosophy of life is clear then our
destiny is all the more certain—the Kingdom of Heaven. Let us try to put into
practice these five short counsels and trust that one day with Our Lady we will contemplate the beauty of the Face of
God for all eternity!