We must be
Prepared for Death Now;
Then it will be too Late!
Saint Alphonsus Liguori
death arrives God does
not tell us to prepare ourselves;
He tells us now to
be prepared. When death comes,
it will be almost impossible, in that
and confusion, to give ease to a
reason tells us;
this God threatens, saying that then
He will come, not to
pardon, but to
His graces. "Revenge is mine, I will repay"
- (Romans 12:19). It is, says Saint Augustine, a
punishment, that he who was
unwilling, when he was able to
soul, will not be able when he is
willing. "But perhaps", you will say,
"I may still be converted and saved."
Would you throw yourself into a deep well, saying, "Perhaps I may not be
drowned?" O God! how
reason! When there is question of the
rationally, but when
the soul is concerned,
they speak like
brother, who knows? Is this point which you read the
last warning that
sends you? Let us immediately prepare for
it may not come upon
us without giving us time to prepare for judgment. Saint Augustine says that
God conceals from us the
last day of life, that we may be always prepared to
die. Saint Paul tells us that we must
work out our salvation, not only with
fear, but also with
Antoninus relates that a certain king of Sicily, to make one of his subjects
understand the fear with which he sat on the throne, commanded him to sit at
table with a sword suspended over him by a slender thread. The
that the thread might give way filled him with so much
terror that he could
scarcely taste food.
all in like danger; for the
sword of death, on which our
depends, may at each moment fall upon us.
indeed a question of eternity. "If the tree fall to the south, or to the
north, in what place soever it shall fall, there shall it be" - (Ecclesiastes
11:3). If, when death comes, we are found in the
grace of God, oh with what
shall we say: "I have secured all; I can never again lose God, I shall be
happy forever!" But, if death finds the
sin, with what
it exclaim, "Therefore we have erred!"
(Wisdom 5:6) - I have erred;
and for my error there will be no remedy for all eternity!
of an unhappy eternity made the venerable
Father Avila, Apostle of Spain,
say, when the news of death was brought to him:
"Oh! That I had a little
more time to prepare for death!" This fear made the
Abbot Agatho, who spent
so many years in penance, say at
death: "What will become of me? Who can
know the judgments of God?" Saint Arsenius, too,
trembled at the
hour of death,
and being asked by his disciples why he was so much
alarmed, he said: "My
children this fear is not new to me; I have had it always during my whole
life." Above all, holy Job
trembled when he said: "What
shall I do when the Lord shall rise to judge? And when He
shall examine, what shall I answer Him?"
God! Who has ever loved me more than Thou hast? And Whom have I despised and
insulted more that I have insulted Thee? O Blood, O Wounds of Jesus, you are
my hope. Eternal Father, look not upon my sins, but look at the wounds of
Jesus; behold Thy Son dying through pain for my sake, and asking Thee to
pardon me. I repent, O my Creator, of ever having offended Thee. I am sorry
for it above all things.
didst create me that I might love Thee, and I have lived as if Thou didst
create me to offend Thee. For the love of Jesus Christ, pardon me and give
me grace to love Thee. I have hitherto resisted Thy Will, but I will resist
no longer, and will do whatsoever Thou commandest.
commandest me to detest the outrages I have offered Thee; behold, I detest
them, with my whole heart. Thou commandest me to resolve to offend Thee no
more; behold, I resolve to lose my life a thousand times, rather than
forfeit Thy grace. Thou commandest me to love Thee with my whole heart; yes,
with my whole heart I love Thee, and I wish to love nothing else but Thee.
Thou wilt henceforth be my only beloved, my only love. From Thee I ask, and
from Thee I hope for holy perseverance. For the love of Jesus Christ, grant
that I may be always faithful to Thee, and that I may always say to Thee,
with St Bonaventure: “My beloved is one, my love is one.” I do not wish that
my life be employed any longer in giving Thee displeasure; I wish to spend
it only in weeping over the offences I have committed against Thee, and in
Mary, my Mother, pray for
all who recommend themselves to thee, - pray to Jesus
also for me.