Facing Death: Being a Catholic Makes the Thought of Death Very Easy - By Pat Ryan

I am in the final stage of kidney failure, but do not seem to be getting any worse (if that is possible).

I am hopeful that I will still be around in a month or two if it is God’s will. I try to be obedient to my family, but find it a great sacrifice. I make sure I don’t pray to get better only to do God’s Holy Will. This state of affairs guarantees that I pay proper attention to my night prayers.

Being a Catholic makes the thought of death very easy. All I have to do is welcome God’s decision when the time comes. Thank God, all my life I have honoured Mary.

Fulton Sheen narrates the story of a man who died and appeared at the gates of Heaven. St Peter was examining him about all the events of his life, when suddenly Peter heard a voice behind him saying “Let him in Peter”. St Peter turned round and saw the Lord. “Why should I let him in, Lord?” Jesus replied “I have heard my Mother speak of him”.

I suppose a number of people die without making peace with their relatives or neighbours. They take a grudge to the grave (that is why so many bitter tears are spent at gravesides).

Those of us who have been hurt may feel it is emotionally impossible to make peace with the one who inflicted great pain. For my part, by the grace of God, I came to understand that we can respond to this calamity by accepting that our emotions are as yet unready to seek peace, however, God gave us free will and we should use it.

We must make a conscious decision of the will to seek out our neighbour and make peace with him/her. Were we not told to love one another?

Pat Ryan, London, United Kingdom

Taken from Into the Deep Issue 205 - Newsletter of orthodox Catholics of Gippsland.
"Being a Catholic makes the thought of death very easy." Yes it does, even for those of us who aren't facing a terminal illness. There's nothing like completing a Marian devotion or adjusting your Brown Scapular and -knowing- with certainty the promises attached to both still apply.
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