“By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread

   until you return to the ground,

   for out of it you were taken;

you are dust and to dust you shall return.” (Gen 3:19)



Lord, … let me know how fleeting my life is!

Behold, you have made my days a few handbreaths,

and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight. …

Surely every man goes about as a shadow!

Surely for naught are they in turmoil;

man heaps up, and knows not who will gather!

And now, Lord, for what do I wait?

My hope is in you.”

(Ps 39:4,5-7)


“Teach me to number my days

   so as to attain wisdom.” (Ps 90:12)



“Come now, you who say,

   ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town

      and spend a year there,

      doing business and making money.’

Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.

What is your life?

For you are a mist

   that appears for a little while

      and then vanishes.

Instead you ought to say

   ‘If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that.’”

(Jas 4:13-15)



“For everything there is a season,

   and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born,

   and a time to die.” (Eccles 3:1-2)



I knelt to pray but not for long,

I had too much to do. 

I had to hurry and get to work

For bills would soon be due.

So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,

And jumped up off my knees.

My Christian duty was now done.

My soul could rest at ease.

All day long I had no time.

To spread a word of cheer.

No time to speak of Christ to friends,

They'd laugh at me I'd fear.


No time, no time, too much to do,

That was my constant cry,

No time to give to souls in need

But at last the time, the time to die.

I went before the Lord,

I came,

I stood with downcast eyes.

For in his hands God held a book;

It was the book of life.

God looked into his book and said

"Your name I cannot find.

I once was going to write it down...

But never found the time"

(Author unknown)



“I have seen everything under the sun;

and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. …

“So I became great and surpassed all who were before me …;

also my wisdom remained with me.

And whatever my eyes desired

   I did not keep from them;

I kept my heart from no pleasure, …

Then I considered all that my hands had done

   and the toil I had spent in doing it,

   and behold, all was vanity and a striving after the wind,

   and there was nothing to be gained under the sun. ” (Eccles 1:14; 2:9-11)



Sweet Savior, bless us e’er we go,

Thy word into our minds instill,

And make our lukewarm hearts to glow

With lowly love and fervent will.

Through life’s long day and death’s dark night,

O gentle Jesus, be our light.


The day is done, its hours have run,

And thou hast taken count of all,

The scanty triumphs grace hath won,

The broken vow, the frequent fall.

Through life’s long day and death’s dark night,

O gentle Jesus, be our light.


For all we love, the poor, the sad,

The sinful,—unto thee we call;

O let thy mercy make us glad;

Thou art our Jesus and our All.

Through life’s long day and death’s dark night,

O gentle Jesus, be our light.

(FW Faber 1814-1863)



“O LORD, you have searched me and known me!

You know when I sit down and when I rise up;

you discern my thoughts from afar.

You search out my path and my lying down,

and are acquainted with all my ways.

Even before a word is on my tongue,

lo, O LORD, you know it altogether. …

Where shall I go from your Spirit?

Or where shall I flee from your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, you are there!

If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! …

For you formed my inward parts,

you knit me together in my mother’s womb. …

You know me [so] well ….

Search me, O God, and know my heart!

Try me and know my thoughts!

And see if there be any wicked way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Ps 139:1-4,7-8,13,14,23-24)


“Like a physician who probes the wound before treating it,

   God, by his Word and his Spirit,

   casts a living light on sin.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1848)



Where is my heart?

“At the very moment of putting this question,

   the answer comes within me.

This question causes me to cast a rapid glance

   into the innermost centre of my being,

   and I at once see the salient points;

I give ear to the tone echoed by my souls,

   and immediately catch the dominant note. …

Sometimes I shall see that my dominant disposition

   is the want of approval or praise,

   or the fear of reproach.

Sometimes the bitterness that springs from annoyance, …

   or else the resentment caused by some remonstrance.

Sometimes, the pain of being under suspicion,

   or the trouble felt through some aversion.

Or, it may be the slackness induced by sensuality,,

   or the discouragement resulting from difficulties or failure.

At other times routine, the product of carelessness,

   or frivolity, the product of idle curiosity and empty gaiety, etc.

Or else, on the contrary,

   it may be the love of God,

   the desire for sacrifice,

   the fervor kindled by some touch of grace,

   full submission to God,

   the joy of humility, etc.

Whether it be good or bad,

   it is the main and dominant disposition that must be ascertained;

for we must look at the good as well as the evil,

since it is the state of the heart that is important to know.

I must go directly to the mainspring

   which sets all the wheels of the clock in motion.”

(J Tissot, Interior Life, Part III)



“The quickest way to discover the predominant fault is to ask ourselves:

‘What do I think about most when alone?

Where do my thoughts go when I let them go spontaneously?

What makes me most unhappy when I do not have it?

Most glad when I possess it?

What fault irritates me most when I am accused of it,

   and which sin do I most vigorously deny possessing?’”

(F Sheen, Lift Up Your Heart)


“¿En qué piensas?” (St Josemaría)



“Learn to think, to speak, and to act

   according to the principles of simplicity and evangelical charity:

‘Yes, yes, no, no.’

Learn to call white ‘white’, and black ‘black’—

   evil ‘evil’ and good ‘good’.

Learn to call sin ‘sin’,

   and do not call it liberation and progress,

   even if the whole of fashion and propaganda were to contrary.”

(John Paul II to students, 26 March 1981)



“One thing have I asked of the Lord,

   that will I seek after;

that I may dwell in the house of the Lord

   all the days of my life,

to behold the beauty of the Lord,

   and to inquire in his temple.

You have said, ‘Seek my face.’

My heart says to you,

‘Your face, Lord, do I seek.’

Hide not your face from me.

I believe that I shall see

   the goodness of the Lord

   in the land of the living.” (Ps 27:4,8,13)



Pretiosa in conspectu Domini mors sanctorum eius.”

“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” (Ps 116:15)



“Lord Jesus, let me know myself, let me know Thee,

   And desire nothing else but only Thee. …

Look upon me that I may love Thee,

   Call me that I may see Thee,

And forever possess Thee.” (St Augustine)



“Holy Mary, Mother of God,

   pray for us sinners


   and at the hour of our death. Amen.”


C:\Documents and Settings\user\My Documents\jmom RETREAT\crt_05Death&Judgment.rtf

Revised 25 March 2005