Monday, May 5, 2014



SS. Cosmas & Damian Church-Twinsburg, Ohio
St. Joseph-Patron of a Happy Death

For the person on the road of spiritual perfection, the thought of death should be on one's mind daily. Keeping the goal of heaven in mind helps us to make choices throughout the day that are pleasing to the Lord. We are pleasing to him when we try to respond in charity to the challenges of every day life. We please him by forgiving and showing mercy to our neighbor. We please him by bearing patiently our own sufferings and trials, as well as helping others to bear their sufferings patiently.

There are many spiritual books with the theme of preparing for death. St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote a book with that actual title, Preparation for Death.  It is an excellent book that I would highly recommend. However, recently, I picked up one of my favorite spiritual books, The Imitation of Christ, and opened to the meditation in Chapter 23 entitled, Meditation on Death.  In my opinion, it is one of the best spiritual pieces written on helping the soul to prepare for death.  Here are some excerpts from the chapter:

The Hour of death will soon come for you. See to it that you spend your time here well. There is a common saying that human beings are here today and gone tomorrow. And once they are out of sight, they are soon forgotten.

How dull we are and hard of heart, for we think only of the present and make little provision for the life hereafter! If you were wise, you would so order your life as though you were to die before the day is over.

If it is frightening to die, it may be more dangerous to live long. You are truly blessed if you keep the hour of your death before you and prepare yourself for it. If you ever saw anyone die, remember that you too must travel the same path...

Strive to do good deeds while you are well, for when you are sick you do not know what you will be able to do. Sickness does not often change us for the better. Also, few are sanctified by making many pilgrimages...

How many people will remember you and pray for you once you are dead?

Attend to those things that are to God's honor and glory. Honor the Saints and follow their example and you will have friends waiting to receive you into everlasting dwellings (Lk 16:9) when your life here is ended.

The Imitation of Christ, Thomas A Kempis

In point number 4 of his meditation. He states there are 6 things the wise person seeks to obtain a happy death:

1.  A perfect contempt of the world
2.  An ardent desire to progress in virtue
3.  A love of discipline
4.  A prompt obedience
5.  A denial of self
6.  A patient bearing of all adversities for the love of Christ

Let us pray to Our Lady through the powerful prayer of the Rosary to help us at the hour of our death: ...Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

John Henry Newman

Oh, my Lord and Savior, 
support me in that hour
in the strong arms of your Sacraments,
and by the fresh fragrance of your consolations.
Let the absolving words be said over me,
and the holy oil sign and seal me,
and your own Body be my food,
and your Blood my sprinkling;
and let my sweet Mother, Mary, breathe on me,
and my Angel whisper peace to me,
and my glorious Saints (NN.) smile upon me;
that in them all, and through them all,
I may receive the gift of perseverance,
and die, as I desire to live,
in your faith, in your Church, in your service,
and in your love. Amen.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

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