Tag Archives: Last Rites

Eternal Life Begins Now

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We have many good lessons to learn, through this tragic event…

Sunday morning, my youngest daughter came to me in tears, showing me her iPad and asking me if it was true! She really took me by surprise and was yelling at me to tell her. I asked her a few times before looking down, what? What? Is what true?  She proceed to walk to my husband and show him and he picked up the TV remote, changed the channel and yes. It was true. Kobe Bryant was killed that morning in a horrific helicopter crash. My daughter was inconsolable. I held her as she cried, and asked her if she wanted to pray for him and we did together. My daughter is extremely sensitive when news breaks of anyone’s death.

She walked into her room sobbing while my husband, who happens to be an air traffic controller, and myself, sat in shock watching the news unfold. Later that day, hearing Kobe and his daughter attended Holy Mass, brought us all great comfort. We attended the evening Mass that day, and the Priest added Kobe and Gianna, his 13 year old daughter, along with all who had died in that horrific crash, in the prayers of the faithful. My daughter looked at me during that moment and smiled. She was at peace again.

First spiritual lesson to learn. I can not stress the importance of receiving our Lord in the Sacraments before we die. We never know when our Lord is going to take us home. If we become sick, or if we have sick loved ones, who are Catholic, PLEASE, before they slip into a condition to where they can not longer receive our Lord in the Eucharist, call a Priest to administer the Sacraments! There is a great post here on this subject: A Guide to the Last Rites May take this time for granted and wait until the loved one has already died, or is in a vegetative state. Please, the sooner the better that they may take our Lord with them on that final journey.

Getting back to the news of Kobe.  I must admit, I am not a fan of basketball. Not even a fan as I was living in Chicago, when the Bulls took the Championship five times with Michael Jordan and the rest of the crew. What I am a huge fan of, is repenting sinners. Another spiritual lessons to learn in this, is repentance. In learning more about Kobe and his charities, his regular attendance of Holy Mass and even attending daily Mass, my heart leaped knowing he sure looked like a repenting soul to me. At that point in anyone’s life, the moment of repentance, turning back to our Lord, what we ONCE WERE, is no longer who we are at this moment. It’s gone, as we allow our Lord to build us into what He created us to be. Letting go of what we want to be, accepting the good and the bad. What our Lord has already forgiven, can no longer be held against us. The sin is gone, although the residual effect of the sin may remain. Its not easy to find souls in this society we are exiles in, willing to forgive us, as our Lord has. Holding on to His is forgiveness through the sacrament of reconciliation, hearing the words “I absolve you”, is key to moving through all society holds against the repenting soul, and not allowing the world to take away the joy of being forgiven,  getting that second chance in life in Christ to do what is right and just again.  Society often holds on to the bitterness, unable to move past others sins, because it lacks the ability to forgive and heal, although society (the world) could never be burdened with thinking of its own sins first.

It no longer mattered to me what he may have done, but my hope for him and all was what may be. His continuing the journey on into eternal life with our Lord.

Another spiritual lesson to be learned, is not constantly looking at the ugliness of one another, and finding the good in each soul.  Anyone can see the dirt in their neighbor, be the one who finds the gold. We must remember that what we hold against our neighbors, will be held also against us. We are called to forgive as we have been forgiven. We are called to see the good in others, and not continually focus on the bad. A repenting soul, knows their own sins and do not need others to help them remember them, especially when they have already been forgiven.  I’m not saying Kobe is a Saint, although I hope he is, as that is a judgement left to our Lord. What I am saying is he definitely was working on his salvation, while he was still here. That is another key to our salvation. We live the faith now, repent now, so not to regret later. Eternal life begins in this life. CS Lewis said:  ‘Die before you die, there is no chance after.’

I pray for everyone, during this tragedy, to remember the words our Lord spoke, directly after teaching us how to pray:

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If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.

I hope others see how important it is to forgive as we ourselves have been forgiven.

I pray for the souls of all who have lost their lives in this horrific tragedy, and I also hope that more souls, still here, can see the joy of repentance and forgiveness and begin eternal life, now. Lord have mercy on us all.

Prayer for The Eternal Rest

Eternal rest grant unto them,

O Lord, and let perpetual light

shine upon them. May the souls

of all the faithful departed, through

the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Amen

 

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Pray For The Dying

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Of all human evils death is the most grievous, by which human life is destroyed…”. — St. Thomas Aquinas, Compendium theologiae, lib. 1 cap. 227

Pray for the dying. We are all going to die, it’s all part of life. The biggest day of our life is the day we die. The day we enter into Eternal Life. The death bed is the front lines of the war of good VS evil. Stand with our Lord and His Holy Army.

When I lost my parents, I can look back now and say with all sincerity, I waisted so much time while they were dying, on myself. I cried, and spent most of the last hours with them thinking about what I was going to do now that they were leaving. I became lost in the selfishness rather than in the joy of their eternity. I didn’t pray much. I didn’t know how important it was. I “Assumed” God had it all under control and I was just there so they wouldn’t be alone. I can now see the role of the people left behind is to place their “feelings’ last and to place the soul on the dying person first. I was wrong. I can only see now and I beg my readers to understand a very important fact I am about to mention. Do not think I am being cold when I say this. When a person is dying, we have to remember they and WE are on the front lines of the battle of good and evil. Prayer is essential! We have to toss our worry and ourselves to the side and think ONLY of the soul leaving this world. Yes it is traumatic to lose a loved one, but it is more devastating to the person entering into eternal life, not to pray for them. Leave the painful feelings you have somplace for a later date, another time.

In all cases, we must stand with the soul leaving us, to banish the evil one who does come to confuse them. We pray and pray and never stop, until they are safe and sound, in the arms of our Lord.

A good place to start is with the Rosary, along with The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. Pray not in silence, but in a voice the departing can hear you. Even though it may seem as if the person can not hear or understand, they most certainly can. They need protection and praying out loud is the best way.

The website Fish Eaters has a great page of prayers called “The Catholic Way of Dying”. Print it off and take it with you to the bedside of your loved ones. Never stop praying for them. Never give Satan a chance to sway them, or you over through confusion. Stay FOCUSED. Eternal life depends upon it.

One crucial point to remember is to call a Priest BEFORE the person slips into a unconcious state. That way they are able to receive the Holy Sacrament, our Lord in the Eucharist before the time comes when they no longer can eat. Far to many family’s wait until the last moment and miss this opportunity of the biggest part of Last Rites, or Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Dont wait to long.

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Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

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