|875 A true Christian is always ready to appear before God. Because, if he is fighting to live as a man of Christ, he is ready at every moment to fulfil his duty.
876 When facing death, be calm! I do not want you to have the cold stoicism of the pagan, but the fervour of a child of God who knows that life is changed, not taken away. —Dying?... Living!
877 He acquired a Doctorate in law and in philosophy, and was applying for a post as a professor at the University of Madrid. He had specialised in two demanding subjects and had done brilliantly in both. He sent word to me: he was ill, and wanted me to go and see him. I arrived at the lodgings where he was staying. He greeted me with the words: “Father, I am dying.” I comforted him affectionately. He wished to make a general confession. That very same night, he died.
An architect and a doctor helped me dress the corpse. —Seeing that young body, which soon began to decompose... the three of us agreed that two university qualifications were worth nothing compared to the definitive qualification which as a good Christian he had just obtained.
878 Everything can be put right... except death. And death puts everything right.
879 Death comes and cannot be avoided. What empty vanity it is, then, to centre our existence on this life. See how much many men and women suffer. Some suffer because life is coming to an end and it pains them to leave it; others because it is going on, and they are sick of it... In neither case is there room for the mistaken view that makes our passage through this world an end in itself.
One must leave that way of thinking behind and anchor oneself to another, an eternal one. A total change is required, to empty oneself of self-centred motives, which pass away, and to be renewed in Christ, who is eternal.
880 When you think about death, do not be afraid, in spite of your sins...For he already knows that you love him... and what stuff you are made of.
—If you seek him, he will welcome you as the father welcomed the prodigal son; but you have to seek him!
881 Non habemus hic manentem civitatem — our definitive home is not to be found on this earth. —And so that we don’t forget it, at the hour of death this truth appears crudely at times, in lack of understanding, say, or in persecution or in being despised. —But there is always a sense of loneliness, for even though we may be surrounded by affection, every person dies alone.
—Now is the time to untie all the bonds that bind us! Let us prepare ourselves at all times for that step which will bring us into the eternal presence of the Most Holy Trinity.
882 Time is our treasure, the “money” with which to buy eternity.
883 You were consoled by the idea that life is to be spent, burned in the service of God. —And spending ourselves entirely for him is how we shall be freed from death, which brings us the possession of Life.
884 That priest, a friend of ours, worked away while thinking of God, holding on to his paternal hand and helping others to make these fundamental ideas their own. That is why he said to himself: “When you die, all will be well, because He will continue to look after things.”
885 Don’t make a tragedy out of death, for it is not one. Only unloving children do not look forward to meeting their parents.
886 Everything down here is a handful of dust. Consider the millions of “important” people who have “recently” died and nobody remembers at all.
887 The great Christian revolution has been to convert pain into fruitful suffering and to turn a bad thing into something good. We have deprived the devil of this weapon; and with it we conquer eternity.
888 Dreadful will the judgement appear for those who knew the way perfectly well, showed it to others or demanded that they should follow it, but would not go along it themselves.
—God will judge and condemn them out of their own mouths.
889 Purgatory shows God’s great mercy and washes away the defects of those who long to become one with Him.
890 Hell alone is a punishment for sin. Death and judgement are only consequences, which those who are in the grace of God do not fear.
891 If at any time you feel uneasy at the thought of our sister death because you see yourself to be such a poor creature, take heart. Heaven awaits us and consider: what will it be like when all the infinite beauty and greatness, and happiness and Love of God will be poured into the poor clay vessel that the human being is, to satisfy it eternally with the freshness of an ever new joy?
892 When encountering the bitter injustice of this life, how the honest soul rejoices remembering the eternal Justice of its eternal God!
—With the knowledge of its own wretchedness, it utters with a fruitful desire that Pauline exclamation: Non vivo ego — it’s not me living now! It’s Christ who lives in me! And He will live for ever.
893 How happy when they die must be those who have lived heroically every minute of their life! —I can assure you it is so, because I have seen the joy of those who have prepared themselves for many years, with calm impatience, for this encounter.
894 Pray that none of us may fail the Lord. —It will not be difficult, unless we play the fool. For Our Father God helps us in everything, even by making this our exile on earth last for only a while.
895 The thought of death will help you to grow in the virtue of charity, for it might be that this particular instant in which you are together with one person or another is the last one... They, or you, or I, could be gone at any moment.
896 A soul who was ambitious to be united with God used to say: “Fortunately, we men are not eternal!”
897 That piece of information made me think: fifty-one million people die every year; ninety-seven every minute. The Master had already told us when he said: the fisherman throws his nets into the sea; the Kingdom of Heaven is like a drag-net... and from the catch the good will be selected; the bad, those that are of no use, will be rejected for ever! Fifty-one million people die every year, ninety-seven every minute. Tell other people as well.
898 Our Mother went up to Heaven, body and soul. Tell her often that we, her children, do not want to be separated from her... She will hear you!
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