Catholic Candle note: The article below was written by a man who has always been Traditional Catholic and who has been continually fighting liberalism since before Vatican II.
people put off till later preparing for death and this battle, because it is something they don't want to think about. That is a mistake. It will be the biggest and most important and final spiritual combat of your life. Being that it will be the devil’s last chance to escort your soul to the everlasting fires of hell, he will “pull out all the stops” to ensure his success. He will come after you in a different or more promising way, something that he has been saving for you in this final battle.
The definition of perseverance is to persist in an undertaking in spite of counter-influences or opposition. This will be your final test, and you must prepare for it. As a student, you prepared to do your best for the big test at the end of the school year. It goes without saying that the most significant test of your life—with the results lasting for an eternity—will take your earnest preparation. When success is important in some endeavor, you certainly should never wait till the last minute to prepare.
How does one prepare for this encounter? Let me list a few goals:
- Conquer pride
- Practice humility
- Gain complete control of your passions
- Make the uncompromising Catholic Faith your whole life
- Establish a deep love for God with a definite and regular prayer life
- Practice self-denial daily
- Set a good example in this pagan world
- Study the lives of the Saints to see what they did to succeed
- Say little indulgenced prayers regularly and often
- Pray (at least) twice daily for final perseverance: first thing in the morning and last thing at night
In this endeavor, prayer is certainly the most important preparation. The Saints, filled with the love of God, would gladly pray all night, following Our Lord’s example.
Then Jesus “went out into a mountain to pray, and he passed the whole night in the prayer of God.” St. Luke’s Gospel, ch.6, v.12.
They were talking to the Love of their life.
Most people pray like they are talking to their strict boss at work and can’t end the conversation soon enough. Learn to love God and pray gladly.
Most people take a chance that they will be strong and able to withstand the onslaught of the devil at the end of life. That is wishful thinking without the proper preparation.
I know of a situation where a pious and humble, bedridden traditional Catholic was in veterans’ hospice care. On his death bed, he was under attack by the devil to such an extent that fear took over and he was able to get out of bed and run down the hall shouting, “They [viz., the devils] are trying to get me to commit mortal sin!” And then he dropped dead.
From all appearances, he did what he had to do to win the battle with the devil. He had prepared himself to do whatever it took to win.
For Satan does not tempt unbelievers and sinners whom he already holds securely, but he does tempt and trouble the faithful servant in many ways.
Quoted from The Imitation of Christ, Book 4, chapter 18.
We will all face death and this final great battle with the devil. However, there is powerful help available: prayers to St. Joseph, who is the Patron of a Happy Death and also the Terror of Demons.
So prepare yourself for this great battle that will come. Don’t risk failure by putting off the important and necessary preparation to win that battle.
Catholic Candle note:
To learn more about how to prepare well for death, read Preparation for Death,
by St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Doctor of the Church. This book is available for free at goodcatholicbooks.org.