Philip Kosloski graduated from the University of Saint Thomas in Minnesota with a Bachelor’s in Philosophy and Catholic Studies and completed his Master of Arts degree in Theology with the Augustine Institute. He is a writer and author of In the Footsteps of a Saint: John Paul II’s Visit to Wisconsin. He blogs at philipkosloski.com and writes to help all Catholics master the art of prayer by conquering the practical obstacles that prevent a fruitful relationship with Christ.
With news of the most recent act of senseless violence in Nice, France, we are reminded again of the need to prepare our own souls for the journey home. Terrorists strike when we are most off-guard and in the most ordinary circumstances of life. This means today could be your last day on this earth and you may not have the time to prepare your heart for a sudden death.
Are you ready?
There is an old saying that goes, “If the Lord tarries…” Typically it is said about the possibility of doing something in the future and is referencing the fact that Christ’s Second Coming could be here before the future event occurs. It is a healthy saying that reminds us life is short. We do not know what the day will bring or if we will make it to tomorrow.
The Second Coming of Christ may not happen today, but today could very well be our last day on earth.
This is hard to think about and to be honest, a little scary. We typically believe death is some event in the distant future. For example, it is common to say, “I will live my life to the full and when I am really old (like 100), I will start to think about God and death.”
Even some Christians in the Early Church thought a person should wait until their deathbed to be baptized. It was an erroneous teaching, for we cannot presume we will have time to prepare for death.
What should I do? What are some things I can do so that death does not come like a “thief in the night?”
Don’t put off your preparations for eternity until tomorrow. Start today. Start now!
Search your heart and find what is holding you back from God. Bring everything out in the open before God and ask for help. God is not a vengeful God, who will strike you down because you are imperfect. He is merciful and desires to forgive you all of your sins.
Then, make a habit of going to the sacrament of confession. We need to start breaking the bonds of sin that are slowing us down. All of us are sinners and need the grace and love of God to live a Christian life.
We don’t need to be perfect when we die, but we do need to be divorced from a life of sin. We need to desire Him above all things and strive for holiness. We will fall, but the important part is getting back up.
In the end, death remains an aspect of our life that we can’t deny and choose to ignore. The day will come and it is up to us to be prepared for that day.
To conclude, here is a beautiful saying that one can see in the sacristies of the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity all over the world and should be written in all of our hearts to remind us how to live life. The board says:
Priest of God,
Celebrate this Mass as if it is your first Mass,
Your last Mass and your only Mass.
Let us live each day as if it was our last and only day. Then it doesn’t matter if a terrorist destroys our body, he will never destroy our soul.