Be Ready To Die
On July 25, 2013, on the Feast of St. James, an Apostle of Christ, a train crash in Spain killed 79 people. All these men and women were traveling as pilgrims to the Shrine of St. James at Santiago de Compostela (a small town in northeastern Spain). An interval of 30 seconds took place between their well-being and deaths. What a glorious welcome these people received in Heaven. I want to die like this; while I am doing some good work for Christ.
A few days later after this tragedy, another train crash in Italy caused the deaths of 40 pilgrims on their way to the town of the Shrine of St. Padre Pio, about 200 miles south of Rome. Padre Pio opened his arms to them as they came to Heaven.
At my age, 94, death might come at any moment. In the Bishop Timothy J. Lyne Residence for Retired Priests, I live in perfect surroundings for a happy death. Verdant forest preserves completely embrace our residence for several miles in all directions. This beauty reminds me of God’s Graciousness.
Together with my 14 brother priests, I concelebrate daily Mass at 8:00 AM in our little chapel with the Eucharistic Lord as my Food and Drink. I say often to myself that the same Christ of the Gospel stories lives here in our Tabernacle. This realization helps me to spend two Holy Hours in the Chapel: one after lunch and another after dinner. I don’t say many words to the Lord, I’m just there to keep him company.
In my 6 year stay here at the Bishop Lyne Residence I have never heard one harsh word or critical remark from my brother Priests. Peace and good will reign supreme. We help each other in small ways.
Think often of death, no matter what our age. No one escapes this happening in life. Fill our homes with peace and good will and acknowledge God as our Lord and Savior. We too, travel each day on a pilgrimage. Do all our daily duties for Love of Jesus of Nazareth. Then if death comes suddenly or otherwise, we will receive a glorious welcome in Heaven.
Fr. George Mc Kenna