- Place yourself in the Presence of God.
- Ask His Grace.
- Suppose yourself to be on your deathbed, in the last
extremity, without the smallest hope of recovery.
- Consider the uncertainty as to the day of your death. One
day your soul will quit this body--will it be in summer or
winter? in town or country? by day or by night? will it be
suddenly or with warning? will it be owing to sickness or an
accident? will you have time to make your last confession or
not? will your confessor or spiritual father be at hand or will
he not? Alas, of all these things we know absolutely nothing:
all that we do know is that die we shall, and for the most part
sooner than we expect.
- Consider that then the world is at end as far as you are
concerned, there will be no more of it for you, it will be
altogether overthrown for you, since all pleasures, vanities,
worldly joys, empty delights will be as a mere fantastic vision
to you. Woe is me, for what mere trifles and unrealities I have
ventured to offend my God? Then you will see that what we
preferred to Him was nought. But, on the other hand, all
devotion and good works will then seem so precious and so
sweet:--Why did I not tread that pleasant path? Then what you
thought to be little sins will look like huge mountains, and
your devotion will seem but a very little thing.
- Consider the universal farewell which your soul will take of
this world. It will say farewell to riches, pleasures, and idle
companions; to amusements and pastimes, to friends and
neighbours, to husband, wife and child, in short to all
creation. And lastly it will say farewell to its own body, which
it will leave pale and cold, to become repulsive in decay.
- Consider how the survivors will hasten to put that body
away, and hide it beneath the earth--and then the world will
scarce give you another thought, or remember you, any more than
you have done to those already gone. "God rest his soul!" men
will say, and that is all. O death, how pitiless, how hard thou
- Consider that when it quits the body the soul must go at
once to the right hand or the left. To which will your soul go?
what side will it take? none other, be sure, than that to which
it had voluntarily drawn while yet in this world.
Affections and Resolutions.
- Pray to God, and throw yourself into His Arms. O Lord, be
Thou my stay in that day of anguish! May that hour be blessed
and favourable to me, if all the rest of my life be full of
sadness and trial.
- Despise the world. Forasmuch as I know not the hour in which
I must quit the world, I will not grow fond of it. O dear
friends, beloved ones of my heart, be content that I cleave to
you only with a holy friendship which may last for ever; why
should I cling to you with a tie which must needs be broken?
I will prepare for the hour of death and take every precaution
for its peaceful arrival; I will thoroughly examine into the
state of my conscience, and put in order whatever is wanting.
Thank God for inspiring you with these resolutions: offer them
to His Majesty: entreat Him anew to grant you a happy death by the
Merits of His Dear Son's Death. Ask the prayers of the Blessed
Virgin and the Saints. OUR FATHER, etc.
Gather a bouquet of myrrh.