Certitude in death

There are two facts about death that we should face up to. First is the certainty that we shall die, well more than that, not only are we sure we shall die but we are sure we shall die as we have lived. If we live in God’s friendship we shall die in His friendship. Now God is merciful and there are as we know occasions – and we praise the Lord when we hear about it – when some lifelong sinner estranged from God for years suddenly makes, as we say, a deathbed conversion. President Cárdenas of Mexico, by the way, was one. I was informed of this when I went on a Jesuit conference to Mexico – told this by the priest who heard Cárdenas’ last confession. Isn’t that beautiful? But if there are deathbed conversions let’s be sure there are no deathbed perversions. Get it? No one on his deathbed suddenly turns his back on God. Comforting isn’t it? We need to hear that. It’s all that easy. Well it seems hard as we drag ourselves through life. Any figure of speech will do – a tall mountain, a difficult road, a jungle. The Orientals use a large body of water. Well, whatever the lifespan is – and the struggles we’ve got to undergo – life is very short. The younger persons in Chapel let me assure you it’s very short. All we’ve got to do – that’s all – is just remain in His friendship and of course we know what this means: it means in large measure walking hand-in-hand with God through the darkness. But then it’s all over. Thank God! Viva! That’s the certitude.

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