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Published by Quo Primum

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Published by: Quo Primum on Jul 22, 2008
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"It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment"-
Heb 9: 27
The sentence of death has been given to all men. It is a punishment for original sin. The most
enviable fortunes, the most exalted dignities, the proudest triumphs, lose all their splendor when they are
viewed from the bed of death
What is death \u2013 separation of the soul from the body. At death, we will have an immediate
particular judgment.
Few things are certain in this life but death (and taxes?) are most certain.

The most interesting thing about death is not men like to deceive themselves into thinking that
there death is along away off, but that they often live as though they are not going to die. As
though they are not subject to the laws of death like the rest of them. They don\u2019t want to hear,
speak or think about death (unless if it\u2019s the death of someone else but even then only as a
passing thought or event).

Why does St. Ignatius want us to think of death? This is because only by thinking of our own
death are we able to put all our affection and possession in their proper order. \u201cMan thou art dust
and to dust you shall return\u201d.

\u201cRemember thy last end and you shall never sin\u201d \u2013 Eccl 7
This is what St. Ignatius want us to recall. He wants us to realize that this earthly existence is
short and passing and that we shall have to render an account for all that we have. He wants us to
comprehend that the things of this life are all vain. Many deceive themselves into forgetting that
they shall have to die one day. They work to up an abundance of material possession without any
though of providing for the next life. They thus only store up a corruptible wealth. Speaking of
such foolishness that is often found among the wealthy St. James affirms \u201cGo to now, you rich
men: weep and howl in your miseries, which shall come upon you.
Your riches are corrupted: and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered:
and the rust of them shall be for a testimony against you and shall eat your flesh like fire. You
have stored up to yourselves wrath against the last days.\u201d \u2013 James 5:1 \u2013 Expound on this \u2013 i.e.
The possession we have should and can be used to help us increase our treasure in heaven and to
render service to our brothers in need etc.


a.St. Cyprian: \u201cWe are born with the halter around our neck.\u201d Every
step, every breath, every tick of the clock brings us closer to the grave.
All of our arrangements and plans mean nothing in the face of death.
The dead man says, \u201cYesterday for me; today for thee.\u201d Today we
may have a pretty face, a winning smile, but soon \u2013 we do not know
when \u2013 it will all pass. We will die, and sooner than we think. Some
will sorrow, some will praise, some will rejoice and condemn. All will
forget. He is carried to the grave, where the body becomes a feast for

worms, bugs, bacteria. It becomes slimy, with a horrendous smell.
Cheeks, lips, and hair fall off. \u201cContemplate the sepulchers of the
dead and see if you can distinguish who has been a servant and who a
master.\u201d Death is the great equalizer.

b.Image \u2013 Myself on my death bed
c.Grace \u2013 perfect contrition for sin
Death is a punishment for sin \u2013 God has condemned all because of

one sin. Why did this mother die? this young child? this old man? Not
because of a fever, an accident, a heart attack, etc., but because of sin, the
sin of Adam. Sin brings forth death.

Sin = an abuse of time
Death = deprivation of time
a. Death is a passing. It shows us that our happiness is not here below.
Everything here is transitory.

Lk. 12:16 And he spoke a similitude to them, saying: The land of a certain rich
man brought forth plenty of fruits. And he thought within himself, saying: What
shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said: This
will I do: I will pull down my barns and will build greater: and into them will I
gather all things that are grown to me and my goods. And I will say to my soul:
Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years. Take thy rest: eat, drink, make
good cheer. But God said to him: Thou fool, this night do they require thy soul of
thee. And whose shall those things be which thou hast provided? So is he that
layeth up treasure for himself and is not rich towards God.

We are all in the hands of God. We could die at any time, when God
chooses. I must always be ready to die, to appear before God. A good
death is the grace of grace, something we cannot merit and must pray
for daily. Only 1 of 70 Catholics in the US receive the last
We must accept in a spirit of faith the death that God has planned for
us. We should even long for Heaven, to see OLJC. Much merit can be
gained from accepting death, especially on our death bed.

b. Life is short. We must prepare for death now. We cannot wait until
tomorrow, for tomorrow we die. We must always be in the state of
grace. How many put their eternity in jeopardy for a mere nothing, a
simple pleasure, etc.? Our Lord always had His death in mind. Monks
kept skulls by their side. Remember death and you will not die in

III. Three States of Death
a.Leaving all behind \u2013 I die in a few hours.

b.Death in the state of mortal sin \u2013 All is lost! My life is a failure.
What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss
of his soul?

c.Death in the state of grace \u2013 A passage, not a destruction; a joyful
IV. The Particular Judgment

St. Bernard says, \u201cLook on the sins and blush, Look on the sins of manhood and weep, look at
the present disorders of your life and tremble and amend. Look at the graves of the dead and say
to yourself, if these could live again, what would they not do to attain eternal life, and I who have
time, what do I do for my soul\u201d

a. Consider the number of your sins, their culpability, their effects on
others, the scandal given, etc. Every single action of our life has a
moral quality to it. It is either good or bad, depending on the reason
for which we perform the action. Each action has eternal
consequences. How great, then is the gift of confession! It is an
invention of God\u2019s love and mercy.

b. O great moment of eternity! At death, we will understand the value of time and the ease of saving our soul and gaining merit. What would I have wished to have done once I am in eternity? That is what I should do now.

Remember that you this day will come
\u201cWhat is your life, but a little vapour that appears for a little while\u201d -

James 4:15
St. Charles Borrameo kept before himself, a scull that he might constantly contemplate it.
St. Francis Borgia, after seeing the rooting corps of Queen Isabella of Spain, was moved to

realize the emptiness of this world and entered the religious life to prepare to stand before God.
St. Theresa of Lesiex used to rejoice each time she heard the clock strike as she would say that
\u201cin every moment in life, I may sin and loose God.\u201d
While you have time have recourse to the Saints and especially to the mother of God.

c. How fearful we are to appear before a human tribunal! What will not
be our terror when appearing before the Most High God, before whom
nothing is holy? How much should I fear, when the saints themselves
trembled? What shall I say when Christ shall appear, showing His
wounds. What have you done with all that I have given you, your
hands, your mind, your tongue, your will?

Colloquy \u2013 Thank God for time given you. I will use the rest of my
time well. No more mortal sins! I will prepare myself for death and pray
daily for a happy death. Finish with triple colloquy.

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