Reflection 268: Pondering Death


Perhaps thinking about your death is frightening.  It may not be something that you actually consider very often.  But it is a grace to be able to look at one’s death directly and with full confidence.  And this is only possible to do with full confidence if your life is in order and given completely to God.  If you can honestly look into your soul and see that you have made holiness your ultimate goal, then you can also look directly at death with peace and calm.  What is there to fear in that case?  What is there to fear if you have dealt with the sin and regrets you have?  There is nothing to fear in this case.  Death, to the holy soul, is a reward and a journey to look forward to with delight and anticipation (See Diary #1343).

Try to do this simple exercise today of imagining this as being your last day on Earth.  Perhaps you immediately think about family or other tasks that you need to complete first to prepare.  Or perhaps you are filled with fear because you are aware of your sin.  First, try to set aside the practical tasks that would be left unfinished and even try to set aside your concern for your family and friends.  Though these are good and holy concerns, it is helpful to look at death only in regard to the condition of your soul.  If you were to die today, would you be able to look at the merciful Heart of our Lord and tell Him, honestly, that you die with Him as your greatest love?  Could you say to Him that His Will is your primary goal in life?  If not, reflect upon any obstacle you see and use this meditation to take an honest inventory of your life.

Lord, I know that Heaven must be my goal and my focus in life.  Help me to put my eyes upon You and all that awaits.  Help me to also look honestly at the condition of my soul and to identify any obstacle in the way of my holiness.  I love You, dear Lord, help me to make You the central focus of my life.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Novena to St. Thérèse, the Little Flower
September 22-30

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Featured image above: Jesus and Mary at the deathbed of St Joseph, via flickr