How to Prepare for the Hour of Your Death
This is the second part of a two-part series. The first part can be checked out In so doing, he is simply accepting”one’s failure to impede “death(CCC 2278 ), and is making a reasonable and morally licit calculation as to how finest to invest his staying days.However, that doesn’t indicate we need to leap at the chance to discontinue anything and everything that appears challenging or pricey. Offered our belief in the value of redemptive suffering, it may be that we can achieve a lot of spiritual great if we opt to extend our lives by methods of amazing treatments– not to discuss the value of ongoing relationship(and reconciliation if needed )with our liked ones.What’s more, as our Lord clearly taught in the Parable of the Excellent Samaritan, our requirements and vulnerability can be a chance for others to practice virtue through their sacrificial service. This is particularly true for our offspring, who are in any case bound by the 4th Commandment:”Honor your dad and mother “( CCC 2218). Robust and generous attention to the needs of aging and infirm parents will redound toour adult children’s own sanctification, and our living longer just might help them save their souls.So, then, what of normal care!.?.!? Despite our choices relating to extraordinary means of preserving life, all of us should obtain ourselves of uninterrupted care as we approach death– and we must attend to others. Typically understood, ordinary care incorporates exactly what is everywhere thought about routine humane treatment: security, heat, shelter, health, conservation of dignity, and(as a default)the arrangement of food and water.Preeminent among these efforts is aggressive pain management.
Much like our rejection toenable anybody todie from dehydration is our rejection that they should need to withstand excruciating pain in their last days(< a href =http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a5.htm > CCC 2279 ). Excellent discomfort control is absolutely necessary, and it is virtually constantly possible today. Aggressive pain management is even morally permissible when it may “indirectly reduce the person’s life so long as the intent is not to quicken death”( ERD 61 )– an example of exactly what theorists call the concept of double effect.Pain control is a core component of palliative care– a health care specialty oriented to supplying whatever is needed to the passing away”so that they can deal with self-respect until the time of natural death “(ERD 60 ). It’s central to the modern-day hospice care movement, which holds up comfort, instead of treatment, as the expected reflection on these matters,” I hope … that I will have the common sense to empower my partner, while she is able, to make such decisions for me …” Meilaender went on to explain: No doubt this will be a concern to her. No doubt she will bear the burden better than I would. No doubt it will be only the last in a long history of concerns she has actually borne for me. But then, secret and constant wonder that it is, she loves me. And since she does, I need to of course be a burden to her.Once you have your advance instructions out of the method, whatever form they take, then you can come down to the genuine basics of death preparations. As I noted in Part One of this “Guide, “Solanus Casey likened death to a wedding. They’re both cause for event because both mark an end and a beginning. “What we call the beginning is typically the end, “composes T.S. Eliot in his4 Quartets,”and to make an end is to make a beginning. Completion is where we start from. “For newlyweds, singleness, with its concomitant liberties and isolation, concerns an end. Concurrently, a new irreversible coupling, established on love, filled with secret, and laden with all kinds of new duties and pleasure, commences.Similarly, death is a conclusion and a start. One’s physical life on earth, its triumphs and disappointments, not to discuss its unavoidable frailties, is completed just as one surrenders to whatever follows– God willing, a wonderful growing.“Lord, for yourloyal people life is changed, not ended,” is how the funeral liturgy expresses it.”When the body of our earthly home lies in death we gain a long lasting house location in paradise”( CCC 1012 ). To be sure, that divine location isn’t really something we can consider approved
, and so, just like a wedding event, the Church would have us effectively prepare while we have the opportunity.”Every action of yours, every idea, need to be those of one who anticipates to die before the day is out,”Thomas à Kempis recommended.”If you aren’t fit to face death today, it’s extremely unlikely you will be tomorrow” (CCC 1014). Chief among such lifelong preparations would be regular reception of the sacraments, everyday prayer, practicing the spiritual and corporal Works of Grace according to one’s state of life, and consistently living out one’s vocation.And when we reach the limit of death itself, our prayer turns more fervent, sealing our fealty to the Lord and helping us defend against misery and suffering. We lean more definitely on our incredible good friends, especially St. Joseph,”the patron of a delighted death “(CCC 1014 ), and St. Benedict of Nursia, the client of the dying. St. Francis of Assisi, too, who memorably pertained to terms with his mortality by calling it ” Sister Death.”Additionally, we eagerly get the sacraments, particularly the anointing of the sick, when the”entire Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he might raise them up and
save them “( CCC 1499). Our last confessions clear the decks of our consciences and our last Holy Communions are like food for the journey. It’s as if we’re provisioning for a journey, and the Catechism even draws a parallel in between the sacraments of initiation we got at our starts to these latter sacraments at the end of life”that complete the earthlyexpedition”
and”get ready for our divine homeland “(§ 1525). It’s a homeland worth anticipating– not the caricatures that we’re utilized to from comics and the films: angels flitting around from cloud to cloud with harps and pleased smiles and nothing much to do. No, paradise will be an adventure– the best experience. If we’re counted amongst the saints, we’ll discover ourselves joined with our reanimated bodies, and we’ll introduce explorations into the truth of the Trinity and the infinitude of the divine which no chronicle could ever record and no poet could ever imagine.But I think C. S. Lewis came pretty close. In the last paragraph of The Last Battle, Lewis strategized his own vision of the divine campaign that awaits: All their life in this world and all their experiences in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has checked out: which goes on permanently: where every chapter is better than the one before.Doesn’t that sound fantastic? And the terrific thing is that the reality, as Mr. Lewis would’ve no doubt acknowledged, has to be still more terrific, still more luring than even he might’ve thought of. Whatever it is, it’ll be an end and a starting well worth preparing for.