A lot has been going on around here lately. School is pretty much done, although one child is still finishing up math for the year. I'm in full out VBS planning mode. Soccer season is so close to being done that I can almost imagine what a house that doesn't smell like dirt or grass will be like. In my scarce free time I'm pouring over lesson plans for the upcoming school year while trying to compile study guides. Bryan is just hours away from having his ankle sliced open to repair a tendon he had the misfortune of snapping off two and a half weeks ago and I am just trying to stay sane in the midst of it all.
So tonight I stopped by a friend's house to drop off something, and I managed to freak her and her son out a bit. I was talking about Bryan's upcoming surgery and the fact that he's going under general anesthesia, something neither of us is thrilled about. I'm of the ilk that always seems to go to worst case scenario in just about any situation. Not in the pessimistic sense, but more or less just acknowledging the reality of what could happen. So when asked if Bryan was ready for tomorrow and talking about how he's just ready to get it done so he can get on with the four weeks of life on crutches followed by another two weeks in a walking boot, I had made an off handed remark that you should always be prepared to die. Now, I didn't mean that I think or expect that he will have any complications but rather, that one should always make sure their soul is in such a state that you're ready to die. I know not everyone thinks or feels that way. But I do and I feel so strongly about it.
You can well imagine that my friend was probably more than a little stunned at my words. So I had to explain how I feel that one should take care to make sure their soul is in a state of grace. Is my approach off? I'm really not sure that it is. I feel like the biggest tragedy that can befall a person is to be so lax in caring about the state of your soul that you would be willing to take the chance of dying while not in a state of grace.
Perhaps I'm too scrupulous, too focused on dotting i's and crossing t's, but I certainly make it a point to be sure that I get to confession regularly in my journey towards eternity. I would not want to spend an eternity in hell going over the should've could've would've's that would have saved me from an eternity of total separation from God. My end goal is sainthood, anything less than that would be tragic. Until then, I will continue to strive for sanctity. Will I fail along the way? You bet! But, the point is I'm not about to give up. As many times as I fail, I'm determined to dust myself off and seek reconciliation with Our Lord so I can try again. I figure eventually, I've got to make some progress on the road to perfection.
My friend did raise an important question that is certainly worth pondering. Is anyone ever really ready to die? I suppose some are, like those who have suffered through a long terminal illness who know that death is imminent. But I would imagine that most, like my friend and even me, have that unprepared not quite ready feeling. Until any of us really, honestly and truly knows where we stand with Our Lord, how can we be? But, really, it all boils down to hoping and trusting in God. One thing is certain. We're all going to die, so the least we can do is try to be at least somewhat prepared. Acting like you have years or even decades to go before you need to ponder this inescapable reality is likely not the best approach.
My advice is simply this. If you haven't been to confession in ages, just go. Why chance an eternity of misery; and more importantly, why deny yourself the mercy Our Lord so ardently desires to bestow on you if only you humble yourself and ask?