This Life vs. Eternity

Most people, dear Princess of God, go about life rarely thinking about the next life, a life which will last forever! Their cares and concerns are occupied with temporal rather than eternal matters, until some event forces things into focus for them.

A great book to read to prepare yourself and bring yourself back into focus before such an event happens in your life is Preparation for Death by St. Alphonsus de Liguori.

Jesus has said, all that will matter at the end of one’s life is how one has loved. This is what we will be judged by. It will not matter what kind of car you drove, what clothes you wore, or how much wealth you possessed. It will matter how you used what you had to love Jesus and love your neighbor.

In fact, some of these things may even serve to be a reproach to you:

St. Margaret of Cortona’s guardian angel once told her that “He is an elect whose heart is already detached from the empty things of this world, and who lives united to God alone, and day and night sighs unto God. He who possesses the following virtues has a right to be called an elect; namely first, perfect humility, for the love of Our Lord humbled even to death of the cross; and secondly, a perfect charity. He is an elect in whom is fulfilled the words of the Gospel: – Blessed are the pure of heart. He is an elect who, for the love of Jesus, denies and, in a measure, tortures himself, not by use of the rack, but by the submission of the will; and who is prepared, if needs be, to sacrifice his life for the name of Jesus, or for the profession of the Christian faith; as does whoever mortifies his senses by penance. He is an elect who takes compassion on the poor, in whose mouth is always found truth, and whose life in all other respects is beyond reproach. He is an elect who, for the love of his Lord Jesus, supports afflictions to spare his neighbor, and is content with bad clothes, bad nourishment, bad drinks, provided that others are treated well. He is an elect who is afflicted by and mourns the affliction of his enemies, and of his friends; who rejoices in the success and joys of all, and envies the prosperity of none.”

God wants you to be prepared for the final moments of life, because it is the case that a person dies as they live – the way you live now will not be markedly different from the way you will die. Therefore, God wants you to start doing now what you would wish to be doing upon the end of your life – living in great love of God and conformed to His Will.

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