ACCRM’s 40 Days With Christ For Lent: Day Thirteen

Nearness of Death

[exerpts from “My Daily Bread” by Anthony J. Paone, S.J. [1954]


MY CHILD, in a little while this earthly life of yours will be over. just how ready are you to enter into the next Life?

1. Man exists today, and tomorrow he is seen no more. When he is out of sight, he is quickly also out of mind. The human heart can be so dull and hard! It fixes its attention on things present. It often fails to provide for the things that are to come.

2. In the morning consider for a moment the fact that you may not live till evening. When evening comes do not be too confident that you will see the next morning. These thoughts should not make you gloomy, but practical. Live in such a way that death will never find you unprepared. Live each day as you would want to live the last day of your life. Too many die suddenly and unprepared. I have warned everyone: “The Son of Man will come at that hour when He is not expected.”

3. How many have deceived themselves into thinking that they still had plenty of time. They were snatched unexpectedly from this life. How often have you heard that someone was killed in a fight; another was drowned; another fell and broke his neck? This man died while sitting at table. That one passed away while enjoying a game. Some die by fire; some by violence; some are destroyed by disease; some are killed at the hands of robbers. Thus death brings an end to all, and man’s life suddenly passes away like a fleeting shadow.

Why should I refuse to face facts? Will I die any sooner if I think of death? Or am I going to escape death if I never think of it. The most terrible death which can come to me is the death which will find me in mortal sin. Every other aspect of death is a passing thing, but this last phase—the unprovided death—will hurt me forever. Death, with all its uncertainties, is a fact. I should face facts and see what can be done about them. What can I do about death? I can live in such a way that no matter when death comes, it will find me in sanctifying grace.

Lord, for those in mortal sin, death is the gateway to hell, but for those in sanctifying grace, it is the pathway to Heaven. Let my greatest desire in life be to live in such a way that I can die fearlessly at any moment. Let me fear sin more than death or any other earthly harm. Amen.


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