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Facing our own mortality (11/13/2011)
From: Mary Zimmerman

Winona

God gave me the above title during Mass (All Saints Days) this morning. My immediate response was, Lord are you sure that’s what you want me to write about?

Am I ready to meet my maker? I don’t really think my work is done yet, or is it I want to reap all the answers to my prayers before I check out? For this we have to understand God has His own timetable and it’s always correct.

I think we all have to pose the question every now and then as Mattie Stepanek did as he and Jimmy Carter worked together on the book “Just Peace.” As he knew his mortality was close at hand he asked the question have I done enough for this book to be published? Jimmy Carter and Mattie’s mom assured him that he had.

We all need to check the list of the corporal works of mercy as you attempt to answer that. Ask yourself are you tending to the needs of the poor with food, clothing and shelter, etc., comforting the lonely and depressed, consoling the sick and dying. If you are doing these acts of mercy most likely you’re getting to know, love and serve God in this world and preparing well for your mortality. Someday we will feel the answer in our heart as we breathe our last. I did what God asked of me (His will). Yes, I’ve done enough.

I feel very blessed God has graced me with a special love for the poor and needy and has fortified me with the strength to do acts of kindness I never could have done on my own (making 1,000 pies). I assure you the Bible verse “I can do all things through Him that strengthens me” was very dear to me.

God has given me such a great love for my children. It’s through unconditional love that speaks to the hearts of people. Sometimes we are so quick to put a judgment on some person. We don’t always know under what circumstances they were born and raised. However that doesn’t excuse us from working on ridding ourselves from unwanted baggage. You have to know love to give love, don’t you? That’s the very reason we as Christians are taught at a young age to know, love and serve God. In order to love, you need to know something about that individual. In the case of God, from the crib to the cross He lived and died for you and me. We need to contemplate that.

Okay, how do we prepare for our mortality? Hopefully we have our focus on God and heaven, advancing in the virtues of faith, hope, love, forgiveness and such. Again and again renew that phrase in our minds “have I done enough?” Do I pray and wish salvation for everyone including those we may wish to call enemies? Does God even give us the option to hate anyone? Remember your ex-spouses and other exs may be in heaven too, maybe your mother-in-law as well.

I wish everyone not to feel too sad for very long after my passing. I say, just make it a celebration, Mass of course, comfort one another, and we shall surely meet again.

I don’t know what the future holds but I know who holds the future. Trust God walks ever by your side. Carry on. Be conversant with Him. Talk to Him as your very best friend, because He really is. Who else would die a painful death for us as He did? Like Father Cronin said, none of us are going to get out of this world alive, so every day brings us closer to that reality, but we needn’t feel sad, we leave this world hoping to enjoy the happiness of the next. Personally, I don’t think the word “dead” fits very well in this conversation. Rather we need to apply it to a dead tree, flowers, animals maybe, but man never really dies. Life is merely changed not ended.

If anyone is reading this and has not yet connected or perhaps has disconnected with God who specially chose to create everyone to enjoy heaven one day, first placing us in a testing ground we call the world, I say, I shout, I pray, I beg, reconnect while time is on your side. It’s a fact we all face mortality so let’s prepare for death. We don’t advance much in life without preparing for everything we say or do.

We know God is very merciful but yet don’t count on a last minute conversion. This morning at Mass (November 6), it was so emphasized always be ready, have our lamps full, we know not the day or the hour. We really don’t, do we? We had no idea as our family drove down our service road July 5, 1976 on our trip to South Dakota (my home state), that Duane standing in the doorway was waving his final goodbye.

Each morning as we wake up give thanks to God for yet another day. Pray fully seeking His will for that day. Ask forgiveness for yesterday’s failures, then as we pull down the shades at the end of the day know God is smiling down on you saying “Well done my faithful servant.” Then one day as we ask ourselves have I done enough, we’ll hear God’s voice say, “Yes my friend, come home to heaven.” 

 

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