Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Happy Death

Scott Richert reminds us of the necessity of praying for a happy death. To quote:
All too often, we live each day, not as if it might be our last, but as if it is the first day of many. We slip into habits that don't seem that bad. We tell little white lies; we gossip and backbite; we can't quite find enough time for our children and spouse, let alone for prayer. But we think that we have all our bases covered, because we go to Mass every Sunday, and obey the other precepts of the Church.


Matterhorn said...

Too true...

I've read that King Albert I of the Belgians tried strenuously to live in such a way as to be spiritually prepared to die at any moment. He was a deeply prayerful person (a fact which few seem to remember anymore, in the poisonous cynicism that has taken over much of Belgian historiography). After his sudden death, at the age of 58, while mountaineering in the Ardennes, one of his friends, the saintly Abbot of Orval, paid tribute to the King in these impressive terms. (The Abbot was himself a war hero, and the occasion was a sermon to commemorate the Belgian dead of the First World War, and the veterans who had passed away since the return of peace).

"... I cannot tell you all the good sentiments with which his heart overflowed, and which he revealed, in private, in confidences, which do not belong, as yet, to the history of our time. But his public virtues can, and must, be known, those of the good father so devoted to inculcating in his children integrity and self-sacrifice, those of the head of state so concerned for justice and the happiness of all, and, above all, those of the great Christian who could say to himself every day: "I do not fear death, I am ready..."

The year after Albert's death, of course, came the equally tragic passing of his daughter-in-law, the new Queen Astrid. Albert's daughter, Marie-José, then Princess of Piedmont, was naturally very upset by the loss of her much-loved father and sister-in-law, and not too long afterwards she paid a visit to Padre Pio. She was quite a pragmatic person, not given to mystical exaltation, but she was nonetheless moved and consoled by her visit. Padre Pio and Marie-José talked for a long time, mostly about Albert and Astrid and Padre Pio told her: "They are close to the Lord".

CR Wall said...

Corrie Ten Boom also advised Christians to pray ahead of time to be able to approach death without fear. How important to be prepared! We must always remember that dying is part of living.

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