Sunday, November 7, 2010

Meditation on Death, Part V

David likened the happiness of this present life to a dream, when one awakens. "Yea even like as a dream, when one awaketh." (Ps. Ixxiii. 19.) A certain author observes, " In a dream the senses being at rest, great things appear, and are not, and quickly vanish away." The goods of this world appear great, but in truth they are nothing ; like sleep, they last but a short time, and then they all vanish away. This thought — namely, that all things end with death — made S. Francis Borgia give himself up entirely to God. This saint was obliged to accompany the body of the Empress Isabella to Granada. When the coffin was opened, all those present fled, because of the dreadful sight and smell; but S. Francis, led by Divine light, remained to contemplate, in that body, the vanity of the world; and looking upon it, he said, "Art thou then my empress ? Art thou that great one to whom so many great ones bowed the knee? O my mistress, Isabella, where is now thy majesty and thy beauty?" "Even thus," he concluded within himself, "do the grandeurs and the crowns of this world end. From this day forward I will therefore serve a Master Who can never die!" Therefore, from that time he gave himself entirely to the love ot Jesus crucified ; and then he formed this resolution, that if his wife should die he would become a religious, which resolution he afterwards fulfilled by entering the Society of Jesus.
~St. Alphonsus Liguori's Preparation for Death, pp. 12-13

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails