The most important moment in our life is the very moment that we die. This will determine our destiny for all eternity. Either we will be saved or damned. Either we will be with God for all eternity or we will be lost for all eternity. The best way for all of us to have a holy death is to right now and until we die prepare for a holy and happy death. Hopefully these short but poignant ten sign posts can help you to make the right decisions so that when you die the Lord Jesus will be your Savior waiting to open up the eternal gates of Heaven to receive you!
1. Live each day of your life as if it were your last; indeed it could be. Jesus warns us: “He will come like a thief in the night.” Be prepared!
2. No to Sin, Yes to God! Sin leads to sadness, slavery and death. Let us renounce sin at all costs and turn to God who gives life. Jesus said: “I am the way, the Truth, and the Life.”
3. Do What You Are Doing. This is a key concept of the saints. It means to live the Sacrament of the Present moment and always strive to do your duty and obligation with the best of intentions—meaning for the honor and glory of God!
4. Fall? Get up again! If you fall into sin, which will happen because we are all sinners, then get up right away. Never put off your conversion for tomorrow; rather move on your conversion immediately—before the sun goes down!
5. Love. Aim always for the greatest of all virtues: love! Jesus clearly tells us what is the greatest of all commandments and it is a double commandment: to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. But the second part is to love our neighbor intensely as we love ourselves. With reference to a holy death, Saint John of the Cross teaches us: “In the twilight of our existence, we will be judged on love.” Led us aim for a more intense and burning love every day! Like the Virgin Mary let us die of love!
6. Bring Others to Heaven. Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen gives us great advice on how to get to heaven. “If you want to get to heaven, then take somebody to heaven with you.” Jesus says, “By their fruits they will be known.” Our desire should be to love what God loves and God loves the salvation of immortal souls. Hopefully this will by our ardent and all-consuming desire!
7. Think of Heaven! Of enormous value in attaining a holy and happy death is the constant thought of gaining heaven but also the meditation on actually what heaven is! Saint Paul gives us a mere glimpse with these inspiring words: “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it entered into the mind of man the wonderful things that God has prepared for those who love Him.” Do this! Think of the happiest two hours of your life, multiply that by a million times and then add eternity to it— meaning forever and ever and ever.You have a mere taste or mere glimpse of the glory of Heaven that awaits you!!!
8. Tell Jesus What You Want! From the depths of your heart talk to Jesus and express to Him the greatest desire of your heart and it is this: that you want to grow to love Him more and more each day, but that you want to love Him in heaven for all eternity. Tell Jesus this, but remind Him every day. Ask your Guardian Angel to come to your aid!
9. Purgatory and Suffering. Why not ask the Lord Jesus to give you your Purgatory here while on earth? It is so true the saying: “Pay now or pay later!” Indeed much better to pay here while on earth then to pay in the fires of Purgatory after we die. How can this become a reality? Simple but hard at the same time! We all have to suffer and in many ways: physically, emotionally, economically (many of us), socially, and spiritually. Why not offer your suffering for the conversion of sinners, the purification of the souls in Purgatory but also that this suffering on earth would serve to be your Purgatory on earth to allow you to go quickly to heaven? Many of us never thought of this but God does not want us to go to Purgatory; rather, He wants us to go straight and directly to heaven, nonstop! Let us be honest, heaven is closed not due to bad will on the part of God, but due to our own pride, selfishness, egotism and resistance of God’s grace. Why not beg to correspond to God’s graces and accept your sufferings in this life so as to be united with God immediately upon death, which means eternal life!
10. Mary: Queen of Saints and Angels. The saints all agree on this spiritual maxim: “Mary is the quickest, most secure, and the most efficacious pathway to Jesus and to heaven.” Why not turn right now to Mary and beg for the grace to go to heaven. Ask Mary in prayer what is the major obstacle in your life that is blocking your free access to Jesus and heaven. Then beg our Lady for the grace to overcome that obstacle or spiritual detour on the Highway to Heaven.