“The Return Of The King” Howard Shore, composer, from the soundtrack of “The Return Of The King”, part 3 of “The Lord Of The Rings”, released on December 17th, 2003.
Lately, I have been reading Daniel O’Connor’s recently published “Crown of Sanctity” these days. I am certain that, had I come across something like this book earlier in my life, I would have rejected it as too terrifying and too difficult to absorb and act on. I now find it to be a brutal mirror reflecting back to me how far I have missed the mark of living in the Divine Will through most of my life.
Missing the mark is the terrifying part, but there is also much to uplift and console. The following is a direct quote from a couple of pages which I found to be very consoling and if you are starting to think about eternity then you may find them reassuring, consoling, and uplifting as well …
No Fear of Death
Jesus speaks the most consoling words imaginable to Luisa about the moment of death; so much so that anyone who realizes that these words are genuinely from Our Lord (as, indeed, anyone who has read the chapter on the authenticity of Luisa’s revelations should!) will, upon reading them, lose all fear of that moment.
My daughter, the moment of death is the hour of the loss of illusion. In that point all things present themselves, one after the other, to say to the creature: ‘Good-bye, the earth is ended for you; now begins eternity for you.’ It happens to the creature as when she is locked inside a room and someone says to her: ‘Behind this room there is another room, in which there is God, Paradise, Purgatory, Hell; in sum—Eternity.
But she can see none of these. She hears them being asserted by others, but since those who speak about them cannot see them either, they speak in a way that is almost not credible, not giving great importance to making their words believed as reality—as something certain.
Now, one day the walls fall down, and she can see with her own eyes what they had told her before. She sees her God and Father, Who has loved her with great love. One by one, she sees the benefits that He has done to her, and how she has broken all the rights of love that she owed Him. She sees how her life belonged to God, not to herself. Everything passes before her: Eternity, Paradise, Purgatory, Hell. The earth runs away from her; pleasures turn their back on her—everything disappears; the only thing that remains present to her is in that room whose walls have fallen down—that is, Eternity.
What a change for the poor creature! My Goodness is such, wanting everyone to be saved, that I allow the falling of these walls when the creatures find themselves between life and death—at the moment in which the soul exits the body to enter eternity—so that they may make at least one act of contrition and of love for Me, recognizing my adorable Will over them. I can say that I give them one hour of truth, in order to rescue them.
Oh! if all knew my industries of love, which I perform in the last moment of their lives, so that they might not escape from my hands, more than paternal—they would not wait for that moment, but they would love Me all their lives.
Elsewhere, Jesus puts it plainly: “…what fear can the soul have, in her dying, of coming to Me, if she is already in Me?” When one lives in God’s Will, death is not even much of a change! Never have I read in any writing of a saint or in any mystical revelation a description so beautiful of the moment of death as is contained in Luisa’s writings. Jesus says to Luisa that this is His great daily catch; that moment when at long last He can show Himself to the creature.
At that moment so many souls are saved (even though a lengthy purgatory will be required of many of them). In it, Jesus goes so far as to wrench, as it were, an act of repentance and love from them, and this He achieves successfully in all but those most obstinate souls who choose to condemn themselves.
This daily catch occurs, Jesus says, at the instant which separates a soul from time and eternity, and therefore is not dependent upon any external, earthly observation of repentance. He speaks of finally being able to allow His creatures to see His irresistible face, which, if they only accept it, will inundate them with love and save them from the perdition that they have been walking the path of for so many years.
The only revelation I know of that comes close to this is St. Faustina’s, which bears an enormous similarity in this regard (as with all others!) to Luisa’s. To St. Faustina, Jesus reveals this encounter He has with despairing souls at the point of death: O soul steeped in darkness, do not despair. All is not yet lost. Come and confide in your God, who is love and mercy. But the soul, deaf even to this appeal, wraps itself in darkness.
Jesus calls out again: My child, listen to the voice of your merciful Father. In the soul arises this reply: “For me there is no mercy,” and it falls into greater darkness, a despair which is a foretaste of hell and makes it unable to draw near to God. Jesus calls to the soul a third time, but the soul remains deaf and blind, hardened and despairing.
Then the mercy of God begins to exert itself, and, without any co-operation from the soul, God grants it final grace. If this too is spurned, God will leave the soul in this self-chosen disposition for eternity. This grace emerges from the merciful Heart of Jesus and gives the soul a special light by means of which the soul begins to understand God’s effort; but conversion depends on its own will. The soul knows that this, for her, is final grace and, should it show even a flicker of good will, the mercy of God will accomplish the rest.
These revelations to Faustina should also give us great hope in praying for the salvation of even the most seemingly lost souls—for no one with breath is lost to God. They should furthermore encourage us to pray for the deliverance from Purgatory of those whom we might be tempted to assume went to hell; for this is never a fair assumption to make.
Similarly, Jesus tells Luisa: So, as evil and bad as a creature might be, if she has the fortune of letting one act of my Will enter into herself, even at the point of death, since my Will is life, It sows the seed of life in the soul. And as she possesses this seed of life, there is great hope that the soul may be saved, because the power of my Will will be careful so that this act of life of Its own, which has entered the soul, may not perish and turn into death.
From: Daniel O’Connor’s “The Crown of Sanctity: On the Revelations of Jesus to Luisa Piccarreta” (pp. 265-266). Kindle Edition.