No matter how far off the Day of Judgment may be, says St. Augustine, your own death is only a few years away at most. You need to prepare for that day, so that, when it comes, you will be among those who will be taken to rest until they are made equal to the angels.
“Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look well at his place, he will not be there” (Ps. 37:10).
How long does each person’s life last? Add any number of years you please; extend old age to its longest duration. What is it? Is it not just a morning breeze?
But suppose that the Day of Judgment is far off, when the reward of the righteous and of the unrighteous is to come. Even so, your own last day certainly cannot be far off. Make yourself ready for that!
However you depart from this life, that is how you will be restored to the other. At the close of that short life, you will not yet be where the saints will be, to whom it shall be said, “Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34). And everyone knows that you will not yet be there. But you may already be where that beggar, once covered with sores, was seen at a distance, at rest, by that proud and unfruit- ful rich man in the midst of his torments. Surely hid in that rest you wait in secu- rity for the Day of Judgment, when you are to receive a body again, to be changed so as to be made equal to an angel.
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
If I died today, would I be judged equal to the angels?
Keep me under the protection of your angels, Lord, and count me worthy till my last breath to partake of your holy rites for the sanctification of my soul and body, for the inheritance of the kingdom of Heaven.
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