St. Alphonsus encourages us to turn with confidence to Jesus and Mary in the hour of our death.
Richard of Saint Lawrence affirms that “the devout invocation of the sweet and holy name of Mary leads to the reception of superabundant graces in this life, and a very high degree of glory in the next.” “If then, brothers,” con- cludes Thomas à Kempis, “you desire consolation in every labor, turn to Mary. Invoke the name of Mary, honor Mary, entrust yourselves to Mary, rejoice with Mary, weep with Mary, pray with Mary, walk with Mary, seek Jesus with Mary. In short, desire to live and die with Jesus and Mary. By acting this way you’ll always advance in the ways of God, for Mary will most willingly pray for you, and the Son will most certainly grant all that his mother asks.”
So we see that the most holy name of Mary is sweet indeed to her devotees during life, because of the very great graces she obtains for them. But sweeter still will it be to them in death, because of the tranquil and holy end that it will ensure them. For this name of life and hope, when repeated at the hour of death, is enough to put the demons to flight, and to comfort such persons in their sufferings.
St. Camillus also urged his religious brothers, in the strongest terms, to remind the dying to invoke the names of Jesus and Mary frequently. This was his own custom when caring for others, and how sweetly he practiced it himself on his deathbed. For then he pronounced the beloved names of Jesus and Mary with such tenderness that he enflamed even those who heard him with love. In the end, with his eyes fixed on their venerated images, and his arms in the form of a cross, the saint breathed forth his soul with an air of holiness and in the midst of heavenly peace. —St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of MaryIN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Have I given much thought to my last moments on earth, and how I hope to spend them? Am I sending prayers ahead to that final hour, even now, by praying the Rosary?
From a prayer of St. Alphonsus: O my sweet Lady and mother, I love you so much, and because I love you, I also love your holy name. I intend and hope, with your help, always to invoke it during life and at death.
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