I’ll probably die when I least expect it. That is my sense, anyway. Death for me will come “as a thief in the night.” It almost happened that way for me once already. Then again, I really have no idea.
I do know several people who are close to me who are looking death in the eyes from an illness. The dreaded cancer takes one down this road slowly and tortuously. That path may await me as well. It’s the “thief in the night” once again, just in a different guise. But certainly I will die, and I won’t have a say in the manner or method. What to do? I intend to go down like a Christian, but I’ll need a lot of help to do so.
A while back, I shared the letter Blaise Pascal wrote to his sister upon the death of his father. I liked the way Blaise turned an inevitabilty into a rite of passage for Christians. Not something to fear, but something to celebrate. That’s a pretty contrarian idea and always has been. Below are thoughts on how the Blessed Mother can help us prepare for that day. These words were written by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, Doctor of the Church, and founder of the Redemptorists. But, get this, he says we can call him “St. Al” for short. That’s him in the portrait below.
St. Al’s feast day is coming up on August 1, but I’ll be away from the good ship YIMCatholic, on shore leave, at that time. Before I go, though, I’ll leave you with a little taste of St. Al’s book entitled The Glories of Mary. This particular section provides a window on the “business” of the Blessed Virgin that I, as a recent convert, am unfamiliar with. These words, however, are comforting to me, because when I face this test, I’ll need all the support I can get. As far as I’m concerned, she can sign me up as a “client” right this minute. Where is my pen?