soon your life here will end; consider, then, what may be
in store for you elsewhere. Today
we live; tomorrow we die and are quickly forgotten. Oh, the
dullness and hardness of a heart which
looks only to the present instead of preparing for that which
is to come!
in every deed and every thought, act as though you were to
die this very day. If you
had a good conscience you would not fear death very much.
It is better to avoid sin than to fear
death. If you are not prepared today, how will you be prepared
tomorrow? Tomorrow is an uncertain
day; how do you know you will have a tomorrow?
good is it to live a long life when we amend that life so
little? Indeed, a long life does not
always benefit us, but on the contrary, frequently adds to
our guilt. Would that in this world we
had lived well throughout one single day. Many count up the
years they have spent in religion but
find their lives made little holier. If it is so terrifying
to die, it is nevertheless possible that to live
longer is more dangerous. Blessed is he who keeps the moment
of death ever before his eyes and
prepares for it every day.
you have ever seen a man die, remember that you, too, must
go the same way. In the morning
consider that you may not live till evening, and when evening
comes do not dare to promise yourself
the dawn. Be always ready, therefore, and so live that death
will never take you unprepared. Many
die suddenly and unexpectedly, for in the unexpected hour
the Son of God will come. When that
last moment arrives you will begin to have a quite different
opinion of the life that is now entirely
past and you will regret very much that you were so careless
happy and prudent is he who tries now in life to be what he
wants to be found in death.
Perfect contempt of the world, a lively desire to advance
in virtue, a love for discipline, the works
of penance, readiness to obey, self-denial, and the endurance
of every hardship for the love of
Christ, these will give a man great expectations of a happy
can do many good works when in good health; what can you do
when you are ill? Few
are made better by sickness. Likewise they who undertake
many pilgrimages seldom become holy.
not put your trust in friends and relatives, and do not put
off the care of your soul till later,
for men will forget you more quickly than you think. It is
better to provide now, in time, and send
some good account ahead of you than to rely on the help of
others. If you do not care for your own
welfare now, who will care when you are gone?
present is very precious; these are the days of salvation;
now is the acceptable time. How
sad that you do not spend the time in which you might purchase
everlasting life in a better way.
The time will come when you will want just one day, just
one hour in which to make amends, and
do you know whether you will obtain it?
then, dearly beloved, the great danger from which you can
free yourself and the great fear
from which you can be saved, if only you will always be wary
and mindful of death. Try to live
now in such a manner that at the moment of death you may
be glad rather than fearful. Learn to
die to the world now, that then you may begin to live with
Christ. Learn to spurn all things now,
that then you may freely go to Him. Chastise your body in
penance now, that then you may have
the confidence born of certainty.
foolish man, why do you plan to live long when you are not
sure of living even a day? How
many have been deceived and suddenly snatched away! How often
have you heard of persons being
killed by drownings, by fatal falls from high places, of
persons dying at meals, at play, in fires, by
the sword, in pestilence, or at the hands of robbers! Death
is the end of everyone and the life of
man quickly passes away like a shadow.
will remember you when you are dead? Who will pray for you?
Do now, beloved, what
you can, because you do not know when you will die, nor what
your fate will be after death. Gather
for yourself the riches of immortality while you have time.
Think of nothing but your salvation.
only for the things of God. Make friends for yourself now
by honoring the saints of God, by
imitating their actions, so that when you depart this life
they may receive you into everlasting
yourself as a stranger here on earth, a pilgrim whom its affairs
do not concern at all. Keep
your heart free and raise it up to God, for you have not
here a lasting home. To Him direct your
daily prayers, your sighs and tears, that your soul may merit
after death to pass in happiness to the