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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Reflecting on the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven or Hell

November is the month that Holy Mother Church focuses on the "four last things" -- death, judgment, heaven, or hell. I confess as I move closer to my 70th birthday I think about death more frequently. Not in a morbid sense at all, but in a realistic one.

I'm a practical person and realize that one of us, my husband or myself, will be left to deal with the death of the other. And so we've been talking about how we can make that painful ordeal easier for the surviving spouse. After we prayed a rosary in a local cemetery on All Souls Day, wee talked about buying burial plots now and perhaps planning our funeral Masses.
Death is inevitable; none of us can escape it. Why should we not prepare for it in a physical sense as well as the more important spiritual sense.

What got me thinking about this on a misty November morning? An article by Fr. James Schall, a retired and elderly Jesuit priest who continues to write articles that are interesting and challenging. The one I read this morning is titled, Why It Matters How We Are Buried. Of course, how we live is much more important since it determines where we will spend eternity, not just where our bodies will lie; but we are complex creatures of body and soul. Doesn't Brother Ass, as St. Francis referred to his body, deserve a little consideration?

Let us live our lives fully today on the journey to transformation in Christ reflecting on the four last things especially our final destination. There, either to eternal glory or eternal suffering, we will be reunited once again body and soul on the last day.

All you saints and angels, on the day I die receive my soul and present me to God most high.

2 comments:

Chriss Rainey said...

I also read the story you referenced and found it profoundly helpful. It is one with real meat in it that sticks with you. I hope others who read this post will take the time to ponder it.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Hi Mary Ann:

Via e-mail

Just finished reading your submission for today and thought I'd send this on if you're not already aware of it. I just the other day completed planning my funeral mass with help from http://catholicfunerals.co.nz. Appropriate selections can be made on the site for every step.


Joan