So there we have it!!
This is an invitation for us to REFLECT ON OUR OWN DEATH
So much of our life gets to be practice for death
We don’t necessarily think about our death or the death of the people immediately around us
We might hear about acquaintances and people far from us dying
We typically avoid doing deep reflecting on our death
Reflecting and worrying are not the same thing
You may think about death all the time
You may be scared and worried about it all the time
You may worry about the death of your loved ones or family members
That’s not the same thing as REFLECTING
Reflecting means PRAYING AND MEDITATING ON YOUR OWN DEATH
There are preparations for death that the Church gives us every week
There is a preparation for death we can do EVERY DAY
The Church invites us to make an EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE every single day
St. Ignatius of Loyola called it THE CONSCIOUSNESS EXAMEN
A lot of Jesuits do this, it is a part of their spiritual life
Ask the Holy Spirit first, “Holy Spirit, come to help me and give me guidance in this.”
At the end of your day, go over the day in your mind and ask, “Where was God in my day?”
Where was God in this day?
Where were God’s offerings of grace and where did I say yes to that?
Go over your blessings of the day and thank God for them
Then go back over your day and ask where was God inviting me to say YES to something or to say NO to something and I didn’t really say YES or I didn’t say NO?
Where did I fail to see God today?
Go over those moments and repent of those
Make a resolution to renew that YES to the Lord and NO to sin on a regular basis the next day
This consciousness examen is helpful for us in preparation for death because we can tell if we are consistently saying YES to God or if we are DISMISSING God, or if we are INDIFFERENT to God or if we are IGNORING God or if we are REJECTING GOD
So often we think we are PROBABLY choosing God FOR THE MOST PART
If we stop on regular basis and look back and ask if I am actively saying YES to God
Am I more or less indifferent to God?
Am I rejecting God?
You could be on a walk right now
You could be taking a drive somewhere
Was I actively saying YES to God in all of this?
Was I indifferent to God in any of this?
Was I saying NO to God in any of this?
Sometimes we get to the end of the day and think we aren’t rejecting God, or we aren’t choosing a bunch of sin all day
We also may think we are not intentionally saying YES to God
We may think that God is kind of not there
We may think that God is absent from 0uor day
WE KNOW THAT GOD IS ALWAYS EVERYWHERE!!
So God was not really absent from your day
God was just absent from your THOUGHTS
God was just absent from your CHOICES
God was just absent from your HEART
That’s not meant to be accusatory
THIS IS ALL OF US!!
That is one of the things we get to do at the end of our lives
We had all this time
Was I intentionally saying YES to God at that time?
Was I rebelling against God?
Was I rejecting God?
Was I indifferent to God?
The second thing the Church gives us every WEEK is Fridays
Fridays are a day of PENANCE
Every year, Lent or even Advent is a penitential SEASON
Those Fridays and seasons are also times to prepare ourselves for death
We can ask ourselves what am I bound by?
Where am I not free?
Sin can leave us attached to sin
Sin can make us develop bad habits
I may have an inordinate need for baklava
So maybe I need to give up baklava on Fridays
(Coffee for you in this example 😉)
If we have an inordinate need for something, whatever that thing is, maybe we need to give that thing up on Fridays or during Lent or during Advent
At least one day a week
God wants my freedom
I can’t go to Heaven if I am holding onto this too tightly
It doesn’t have to be a sin
I have to be willing and able to let go of stuff
Every DAY is the consciousness examen
Every WEEK is Friday penance
Every YEAR is Lent and Advent with these seasons where we practice dying
The Church wants us to be ready to die
That’s not only why we have these practices
It is also why we have Anointing of the Sick
We can receive Anointing of the Sick whenever we fall seriously ill, extreme old age, etc.
If your illness worsens you can get anointed again
The Anointing of the Sick gives us these particular graces uniting us to the Passion of Jesus for our own good and for the good of the whole Church
It gives us strength, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian way the sufferings of illness or old age
It gives us forgiveness of sins if we had not had the chance to go to Reconciliation
Sometimes it even heals which is INCREDIBLE
God still heals even today
Above all, it prepares us for passing over to Eternal Life
We need to pray for all of those who have gone before us and prepare our own hearts for our own making of this great, incredible journey from this life into Eternal Life
We must pray, “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and the perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace and rise with Christ. Amen.”
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!