PRAYER: O my God, You are my Sovereign Good, my Last End to Whom my entire life with all its interior and exterior acts should be directed. I come into Your holy presence to represent to myself the supreme moment which will terminate it. I come to transport myself in spirit to the moment of my death, which will decide the important affair of my destiny. I understand, O my Lord, that nothing is more important for me than to transport myself now to my deathbed, in order that I may see the necessity of forcing myself to become such as I shall wish to be found at that decisive moment. O my God, may my soul die the death of the just. Holy Mother Mary, please pray for me now and at the hour of my death.
MEDITATION: Death is the separation of the soul from the body, the rupture of all the ties that bind us to the earth, that attach us nearly or distantly to persons, to the affairs, and to the interests of the world. It is an eternal farewell to all the creatures of this earth; an adieu to the light of day and to the darkness of night; to the riches of nature, and to all the objects which surround our senses, and which compose this vast universe. Soon my soul must go forth alone into an unknown region, where shines a light very different in brilliancy from that which now enlightens us. There all ideas are changed, all illusions dissipated; there the riches of earth have no value; nobility, science, reputation, honors count as nothing there: in a word, the money of this world is not current in the other, because there only the knowledge and love of the Creator is esteemed; there only those actions are counted which are done for Him. Behold why the death of the sinner is so terrible, he has done nothing for God, nothing for himself! “Fool”, said Jesus Christ in the Gospel to the rich man, who had commenced to enjoy in advance the great riches which he has amassed: “Fool, this night your soul shall be required of you, and to whom then will your riches belong?” “Thus,” continues our Savior, “will it be with those who have not sought their treasure in God.”
At death the years of grace are completed, man’s career is forever closed to combat, to trial, and consequently to merit. “No more time!” This is to say, there remains but an unchanging eternity for punishing sin and recompensing virtue. Ah! This terrible sentence will be passed upon me at the hour of my death, and it shall be immediately executed. At the hour of death there will be no more time for me. This life is a day of labor, which should be consecrated to meriting the salary promised to those who employ it well. “Work while it is day,” says Jesus Christ, “because the night cometh (death) wherein no man can labor.” Death is the time of harvest when we will gather what we have sown during life. The sources of grace are forever closed at the moment of death. It is not the long years but the holy life that matters.
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!