Thought for the Day – 10 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
A Holy Death
“Now and again, it is useful for Christians to dedicate a day to meditation on the subject of death.
It is useful, because, it is easy to regard our own death as something theoretical and remote, whereas in fact, we ought always to be prepared to die, since it is “at any hour that you do not expect, the Son of Man is coming” (Lk 12:40).
It may be at the hour when we are least expecting it, that God will come to take us and, it will be on our spiritual state at this hour, that our eternity will depend.
We know neither when nor where death will surprise us.
It may be today, it may be in a few years.
It may come suddenly, or maybe after a long illness.
We may be in bed or in the middle of a street, in hospital or at home.
Finally, we may be resigned, comforted by the presence of a Priest and by the reception of the last sacraments, or we may be alone and deprived of these consolations.
It is essential, therefore, to be always prepared, fortified by faith, charity and good works.
If we are really prepared, it will not matter when, where, or how death comes, for it will be to us, like the good Sister death of St Francis of Assisi.
It will release us from this corrupt mortal flesh and open to us the gates of everlasting happiness.
Then, we shall fly joyfully into the arms of our Creator and Redeemer, Whom we have tried hard to love and serve.
But, if we are not prepared, what then?
How bitter it will be to have to leave the world to which we have become so attached.
What remorse we shall feel at the remembrance of our innumerable sins, badly confessed and never atoned for and, at the realisation, that we have failed to do so much good we could have done, whereas now, we shall have to appear before the Eternal Judge, with nothing to offer!”