Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 26 March – Passion Sunday – Hebrews 9:11-15, John 8:46-59 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“… By means of His death,
… they, who have been called,
may receive the eternal inheritance,
according to the promise,
in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
if anyone keep My word,
he will never see death.”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
“CONSIDER THE UNCERTAINTY of the day of your death. One day, my soul, you must depart from this body. When will it be? In winter or summer? In town or country? At home or afar? During the day or the night? With or without warning? As a result of illness of accident? Shall I have a chance to go to Confession? Shall I be assisted by a Priest? Will I be prepared? Unhappily, I know the answer to none of these things. Only one thing is certain – that I shall die and sooner than I imagine.”
Consider that then, the world will come to an end, as far as you are concerned. You will have no more part in it. It will turn upside down before your eyes, for worldly joys and pleasures and the things you loved in vain, will turn into empty dreams and shadows.
Fool that I am to offend God for the sake of such trifling vanities. I have forsaken God and for what – for nothing!
On the other hand, devotion and good deeds will be seen as desirable and delightful and you will ask yourself – why did I not take this beautiful and pleasant path of everlasting joy?
At that hour, your sins – which at the time seemed so small – will appear as vast as mountains and your devotions truly small. …
Pray to God and cast yourself into His arms.
O my God, take me into Thy care on that terrible day; may all other days be sad, if only that single day will be a happy one!
Thank God for inspiring these resolutions and offer them to Him, imploring Him to grant you the grace of a Happy Death, through the merits of His Son and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints.
Carry with you always a small Happy Death Crucifix, properly blessed, to obtain a Plenary Indulgence at the hour of death and meditate upon it often.” – (Introduction to the Devout Life – Excerpt from The Fifth Meditation on Death).
The Complete Fifth Meditation:
WHAT IS A HAPPY DEATH CRUCIFIX?
A Crucifix which displays the “Skull and Crossbones” preferably at the Feet of Jesus.
“The skull and bones have many symbolic meanings. All Catholics are encouraged to meditate on the “Four Last Things – Death and Judgement, Heaven and Hell” so that they will live in a state of grace and prepare themselves for Heaven.
The skull is a great reminder of human mortality. Jesus Christ was Crucified on Golgotha – “the place of the skull,”
There is a tradition that Christ, the New Adam, Who conquered sin and death, was Crucified on the gravesite of the first man, Adam, who brought sin and death into the world through his disobedience to God.
The skull is a symbol of Adam’s grave.
Most important of all, the skull and bones are placed beneath Jesus’ Feet, to show that He triumphed over death and sin on our behalf.”