by Ken Rolheiser
On the day I die and living until then 

    Here are some of the thoughts shared by John Pavlovitz entitled “On the Day I Die”: “On the day I die a lot will happen. A lot will change. The world will be busy. On the day I die, all the important appointments I made will be left unattended.
    “The many plans I had yet to complete will remain forever undone. The calendar that ruled so many of my days will now be irrelevant to me. All the material things I so chased and guarded and treasured will be left in the hands of others to care for or to discard.
    “All my noisy incoming notifications and texts and calls will go unanswered. Their great urgency will be quieted. My many nagging regrets will all be resigned to the past, where they should have always been anyway ....
    “All the small and large anxieties that stole sleep from me each night will be rendered powerless. The deep and towering mysteries about life and death that so consumed my mind will finally be clarified in a way that they could never be before while I lived.
    “These things will certainly all be true on the day that I die. Yet for as much as will happen on that day, one more thing that will happen. On the day I die, the few people who really know and truly love me will grieve deeply. They will feel a void. They will feel cheated .…
    “And on that day, more than anything in the world they will want more time
with me. I know this from those I love and grieve over. And so knowing this, while I am still alive I’ll try to remember that my time with them is finite and fleeting and so very precious—and I’ll do my best not to waste a second of it. Don’t miss the chance to dance with them while you can .…
    It’s easy to waste so much daylight in the days before you die. Don’t let your life be stolen every day by all that you’ve been led to believe matters, because on the day you die—the fact is that much of it simply won’t.
    “Yes, you and I will die one day. But before that day comes: let us live.”
    Let us live free of fear of death! How? Let me share a story Father Gerard Dowling tells. Dowling points out how Catholics who grew up in the church can so easily turn to Mary when they need help. Hail Marys trip off their tongues easily.
    Dowling says it all started at his mother's knee. She passed on the devotion to Mary to him and his siblings. As a family they prayed the Rosary every night. Seeing their mother and dad kneel as they prayed encouraged turning to Mary and Jesus for help.
    His sister Mary joined Father Dowling daily at St Cecilia’s Church for the Rosary the last 13 years of Mary’s life. Dowling visited Mary in the nursing home as she was dying. Praying the Rosary continued to be a great comfort after Mary died. Mary had gone on to the place Jesus prepared for her.
    Trusting in our Mother Mary and praying for her daily intercession, “Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death”, allows us to live worry free. We can trust in a loving Mother and Son, our Brother Jesus, who care for us and guide our every step.

(587 words)