Saturday, November 6, 2010

Meditation on Death, Part IV

Everything must have an end; and if, when the hour of death arrives, thy soul is lost, everything will be lost for thee. S. Lawrence Justinian says, "Consider thyself as dead already, since thou knowest thou must die. If now the hour of thy death were approaching, what is there of good, that thou wouldst not like to have done? Now, that thou art living, reflect, that one day thou must die. Bonaventure observes, that in order to guide the vessel aright, the pilot must place himself at the helm: even so must a man, if he wishes to lead a holy life, reflect that death is ever nigh. Therefore, S. Bernard observes, "Look upon the sins of youth, and blush; look on the sins of manhood, and weep ; look upon the present evil habits of thy life, and tremble, and hasten to make amends."

When Camillus de Lellis beheld the graves of the dead, he said within himself, "If all these dead bodies could come back again to life, what would they not do to gain eternal life ? and I, who have now the opportunity—what am I doing for my soul ?" Yet it was humility on the part of this saint which caused him to say this. But perhaps, my brother, thou mightst with reason fear, lest thou shouldst be like that barren fig-tree, concerning which our blessed Lord said, "Behold these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig-tree, and find none." (S. Luke xiii. 7.) Thou, who for many more years than three hast been living in this world, what fruit hast thou yielded? Take care, remarks S. Bernard, for the Lord does not require flowers only, but seeks for fruit also; that is to say, not only good desires and resolutions, but also good works. Therefore, take care to make good use of the time which God in His mercy grants to you ; do not wait until "time shall be no longer" to desire to do good—when it shall be said unto you : "Time shall be no longer, depart." Make haste, it is now almost time to leave the world; make haste, what is done, is done.
~St. Alphonsus Liguori, Preparation for Death, pp.5-6

1 comment:

Julygirl said...

That certainly puts it all into perspective.

Reminds me of one of the lines from Tolkien's "Lord of the Ring" series that goes something like this....all that is required is for you to decide what you are going to do with the rest of your other words, 'make good use of the time which God has given you!'.

Related Posts with Thumbnails