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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Some Thoughts While I am Away this Week

A dear friend from Scotland sent me the following that was sent to her by another dear friend of both of us; since I am to be away all week, I thought it might be good to leave this little meditation with you.

We are not alone in the hour of death; we have nothing to fear because when the time comes Christ identifies himself with us so closely that fear gives way to trust and anguish to peace. He has lived all our lives, died all of our deaths; to all of us he has given his peace. It is in the hour of death that our fear, our anxiety, our loneliness, will end.

Death is too big a thing for any one of us to face alone. It separates us, for a time, from those we love on earth. It is difficult for us earthbound, rooted creatures to want heaven; it is impossible for us to realize what the glory of God will be to us. It is loving God, and that only, that can make heaven, heaven. Here the imagination does not help us: we cannot imagine ourselves loving the “Supreme Spirit” - we even want to cling to our human frailties and comforts, to our human weakness.

It is now that Christ takes over. He has died all our deaths on the cross; now we are going to die his; it is Christ in us who surrenders to God. It is not with our own heart and our own will that we can long for God but with Christ’s. And Christ had given his heart and will to us. In this is the supreme mercy that comes to us in the hour of death….

Now I love God with Christ’s will, with Christ’s heart, with Christ’s trust; and because he has taken whole possession of me, in the hour of my death I shall at last love my friends too with his love.

Caryll Houselander 1954

I guess we are having more than usual thoughts about death as so many seem to be dying. Besides the tragic death of my cousin, we lost two of our Religious. I told the community that I had two aunts who both died after dinner; one had cooked dinner for her two sisters and sat downafter dinner and closed her eyes and did not wake up; the other also had a quiet but sudden death after dinner. She was just sitting on the couch and died; one of my community immediately said to me, "Helen, don't sit on the couch."

It is hard on those left behind, but I think it might be a good way to go. I firmly believe that God takes us at the right moment and there is no use worrying about when and how this is going to happen.

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