It was way past midnight and my duty seemed never ending. I had already admitted a few patients, been to the operation theatre three times and had tended to numerous accident victims. Just when I decided that I needed some fresh air, the ambulance brought two young boys on stretchers into the casualty ward.
They had been involved in a head-on collision on the highway and my worst fears were confirmed immediately. They were brought dead to the hospital.
After completing the necessary formalities, I decided that I needed some coffee so I went to the gynecology ward to ask a couple of my friends to accompany me.
As I entered the labour room, I simultaneously witnessed 2 babies being delivered and just out of nothing Voila! Two new people were brought into this world.
As I sipped my coffee I pondered on the words of the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 3 which says:
For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to break down, and a time to build up
Deep in reflection I wondered: What if I was to die this moment? Was I prepared to meet my Creator? What was the state of my soul right now?
Saint Luke writes about a rich man who was so concerned about amassing material possessions that he wasn’t in the least concerned about the state of his soul.
But the Lord said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ (Luke – 12:20)
“If we knew at what time we were to depart from this world, we would be able to select a season for pleasure and another for repentance. But God, who has promised pardon to every repentant sinner, has not promised us tomorrow. Therefore we must always dread the final day, which we can never foresee. This very day is a day of truce, a day for conversion and yet we refuse to cry over the evil we have done! Not only do we not weep for the sins we have committed, we even add to them.” (Pope St. Gregory I)
Thus it is imperative that we need to continuously strive towards being in a state of grace at all times. While this may be difficult it is certainly attainable.
“Don’t fancy that your age can make you look forward to a long life. It is too uncertain. Rather, it is quite certain that someday you will die and that a bad death brings eternal misery. Therefore, be more concerned with keeping yourselves in the state of grace in order to meet death than with anything else.” (St. John Bosco)
The two sacraments that offer us a wonderful opportunity to remain in a constant state of grace are Confession and the Holy Eucharist.
Confession helps us to constantly cleanse our souls and gives us the grace needed to stay away from falling into mortal Sin.
The benefits of the Holy Eucharist are countless. Some of them include:
- Every Mass will go with you to judgment and plead for pardon for you.
- It decreases the temporal punishment of your sins.
- It forgives all your venial sins
- Through mass, Jesus makes up for much of your negligence and many omissions.
The Lord has instituted the two wonderful sacraments to help us to prepare our souls to meet Him.
Let us remember that life on Earth is nothing but a mere journey.
We are all nothing but from dust and we will all turn back to dust one day. (Eccl 3:20)
Let us therefore prepare well while we have the time here on earth and not push it for a later date. For you neither know the day or the hour when your life on earth will end. (C.f Matthew 25:13)