| The Reality | Welcoming Sister Death | With Mary By our Side |

The Reality

"It is appointed for men to die once." (Heb 9:27)

"Do you not say: 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, life up your eyes, and see the fields; for they are already white for the harvest." (Jn 4:35)

"See how you go about saying, Today or tomorrow, we will make our say to such and such a town, spend a year there, and make profit by trading, when you have no means of telling what the morrow will bring. What is your life but a wisp of smoke, which shows for a moment and then must vanish into nothing? You ought to be saying, We will do this or that if it is the Lord's will, and if life is granted us." (James 4:13-15)

"Let us live with our eyes on eternity. My sons, this world is slipping from our grasp. A person's life is nothing. It is like the flowers, which spring forth with the first kiss of the sun, and when the sun sets, they have already withered." (Bl Josemaria Escriva)

"Imagine that you behold a person who has just expired. Look at that body still laid on the bed, the head fallen on the chest, the hair in disorder and still bathed in the sweat of death, the eyes sunk, the cheeks hollow, the face the color of ashes, the lips and toungue like iron, the body cold and heavy." (St Alphonsus, Preparation for Death)

"Every action of yours, every thought, should be those of one who expects to die before the day is out. Death would have no great terrors for you if you had a quiet conscience... Then why not keep clear of sin instead of running away from death? If you aren't fit to face death today, it's very unlikely that you will be tomorrow..." (Thomas A Kempis, Imitation of Christ)

Welcoming Sister Death

"Praised are you, my Lord, for our sister bodily Death, from whom no living man can escape. Woe on those who will die in mortal sin! Blessed are they who will be found in your most holy will, for the second death will not harm them." (St Francis of Assisi, Canticle of the Creatures)

"When, for the first time, I see you, my God, how will I know what to tell you? Silently, in your bosom my face will I hide... and weep, as when I was a child.
Your eyes will look over all my wounds... Then, I will tell you everything about my life--though you already know it!
And to slowly lull me to sleep, you will tell me a story that begins, "There was once on earth a lad... and a God who loved him like mad..." (Bl Josemaria Escriva)

"I want to see God and in order to see him, I must die." (St Teresa of Avila, Life)

"For a Christian, death is never sudden. Something is sudden if it is not expected, while we are constantly seeking and awaiting God. Sudden death is like the Lord surprising us from behind and, as we turn around, we find ourselves in his arms." (Bl Josemaria Escriva)

"Pluck this little flower and take it. Delay not! I fear lest it droop and drop into the dust.
It may not find a place in thy garland, but honor it with a touch of pain from thy hand and pluck it. I fear lest the day end before I am aware, and the time of offering go by.
Though its color be not deep and its smell be faint, use this flower in thy service and pluck it while there is time. (Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali)

"Once this earthly tent-dwelling of ours has come to an end, God, we are sure, has a solid building waiting for us, a dwelling not made with hands, that will last eternally in heaven. And indeed, it is for this that we sigh, longing for the shelter of that home which heaven will give us, if death, when it comes, is to find us sheltered, not defenceless against the winds..." (II Cor 5:1-3 and following)

With Mary By our Side

Jesus is laid in the arms of his Most Blessed Mother. May I, too, at the hour of my death, find myself in your arms, my Mother.

"A little while ago, while I was bidding goodbye to a young married couple, it occured to me to tell them, 'Pray for me, that I may be a good son of God and that I be joyful until death ... although death--for us--is to get married' ... Without desiring death, but when we are told ecce Sponsus venit, exite obviam ei!--come out because your Spouse comes looking for you!--we will ask the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, in those momentous moments of the separation of the body and the soul, extremely sorrowful, because the soul has been created to be united to the body, and we will joyfully go to that appointment with the one who has been the love of our life!" (Bl Josemaria Escriva)

"The experience of death personally enriched the Blessed Virgin: by undergoing mankind's common destiny, she can more effectively exercise her spiritual motherhood towards those approaching the last moments of their life." (John Paul II)

"Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen."