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Preparing for My Death

“Remember that thou art dust/ashes and to dust/ashes thou shall return.” God to Adam. (Genesis)

These are the words God tells Adam, our first earthly father, and also the words the priest says when he rubs the ashes of last year’s palm branches on our foreheads on this first day of lent.

No one gets out of here alive!

I started preparing for my death when my youngest sister was taken from our family and left behind a husband and four children under age of eight. It never gets easier to be without her. But the fact that she could go at such a young age meant that any of us could follow her at any time. So I decided to get busy.

I began wearing a miraculous medal and scapular in spite of it being uncool. I want to die wearing them both- not out of superstition, but because Our Lady asked us to wear them, and it’s not like she’s asking me to walk a mile on my hands or anything that difficult. She’s also asked us to go to Mass on the first Saturday of the month for five straight months. This Saturday will be a first Saturday if you’re interested in doing that.

Our Lord also asked us through His Saint, Margaret Mary Alacoque, to go to Mass on the first Fridays of every month for nine months. I’ve tried to do this for years and will continue as long as possible.

We’re also supposed to pray for the souls in purgatory because they can’t pray for themselves, but they can pray for us, and when they get to heaven there’ll be no better friends to have. There are so many ways to please Our Blessed Lord this side of heaven that it makes no sense not to do them.

I read somewhere that if you make it to heaven, which I hope to one day, that it’s like a giant library where the angels teach you about God, little by little. That’s of course, in addition to being in the presence of the Beatific Vision, the Holy Trinity. I decided after reading that, that I wanted to begin my heaven (God willing) on earth, so I try to read books that will teach me something about Him one way or the other.

Any one of us could die today, tomorrow or years from now. We just don’t know. But if you try to live each day as if you could meet Your Maker any day, you’ll be on the right track. I was told that the Capuchin monks (creators of my favorite drink, cappuccino) at a monastery in Gaming, Austria used to dig their own graves one tablespoon each day.

If you’re reading this, let me put it out there that I don’t ever want to be given morphine to take away pain if it will cloud my mind. Like my sister, Joanie, I want to be lucid when the Good Lord takes me. And, if you’re reading this, the best thing you can do for me (or anyone who dies) is not say nice things about me at my funeral, but rather, have a Requiem Mass offered for me. Then immediately do whatever it takes to have 30 Gregorian Masses said for the repose of my soul. That shortens my painful time in purgatory, and I will pray for you like it’s nobody’s business when I get to heaven.

I have asked Our Lord that before I die I’ll be able to have a final confession and have a priest pray the Apostolic Pardon over me – this after being given Last Rites and Viaticum (literally food for the journey). I keep the Apostolic Pardon in my wallet inside my purse at all times just in case the priest doesn’t know it. You should too!

A good friend of mine just lost her husband suddenly, and that was two days ago. No long illness. No warning.

Be prepared, people. No one knows the day nor the hour of our particular judgment before the throne of Jesus Christ.

So, if you’re not in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, what the hell are you waiting for?