Skip to main content

How to never sin, well, almost never.

"In all you do, remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin." - Sirach 7:36

Lately I have been meditating a great deal on the end of my life. Since the death of my grandmother and the death of my wife's grandfather, I have taken many an opportunity to think about life, death, judgement, and what is really important.

As I think back with fondness on the lives of these dear people I have a persistent thought that they are gone from this world. In due time, even their happy memory living in my heart and the hearts of others will fade away. All that they had, all they accomplished, all that they meant to friends, enemies, neighbors, and family will be forgotten save for a stone with their name. Yet their names are written in the book of life and that, in the end, is all that matters.

This of course may sound depressing to some but to me it is a call to holiness. It is a realization that this world is not the end but rather a means to the end, a perfect end - God. It is not and should not be my focus. Yes, I must live in this world but I must live for the world to come - remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin.

As a father has compassion on his sons,
the Lord has pity on those who fear him;
for he knows of what we are made,
he remembers that we are dust

As for man, his days are like grass;
he flowers like the flower of the field;
the wind blows and he is gone
and his place never sees him again. - Psalm 103:13-16

On this Ash Wednesday we are reminded that we are dust. We are reminded that God formed us out of dust and one day our body will return to the earth from which it came. We are reminded to remember the end of your life.

All of the great saints meditated often on the "four last things - death, judgement, heaven, and hell." This is a pious practice that helps keep things in perspective. It is what Saint Thomas More perceived as "medicinal herbs" in the battle against the spiritual sicknesses. It is a reality check and an energizer to "run so as to win."

As we enter into this long, slow, painful death to self that we call Lent let us seek to die to self, die with Christ so that we may rise again with Him on Easter Sunday.

"Without God, all that remains of man's greatness is that little pile of dust, in a dish, at one side of the altar, on Ash Wednesday." - Jacques Leclercq

"These ashes on my forehead are merely the beginning of my burial, to be followed, in years to come, by shovels full." - Michael H. James

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

2016 Rosary-A-Day Giveaway

That's right!  For the month of October we will be giving away one of our handcrafted cord knot rosaries each day during the month of October, the month of the Rosary.

For your chance to win, simply send an email to (webmaster@realliferosary.com) with the words "Rosary-A-Day" in the subject line.  Each day we'll randomly pick a name to win a free "surprise me" (our choice of colors) rosary.  We'll also be giving away some copies of Rosary Meditations for Real Life throughout the month from those names submitted.  Make sure to not be selfish, share the love and let others know!  Good luck!

One winner per household.  Please enter only once, you will receive an email confirming your entry.  Multiple entries from one email address will be deleted. Any order through our site will qualify you for a second entry. Your email will stay in until you win or until the end of the month.  US residents only please unless you are willing to pay the $15 shipping.  Than…

Catherine's Mobile Stander

I've once again learned to not underestimate this girl.  At school she has been receiving therapy using this stander to help her gain strength and stamina.  We brought it home for the summer and I'm simply blown away.

I'm amazed at how proficient she is at maneuvering such a device.  She is able to roll around corners, through doorways, over carpet and more.  Catherine makes it look easy and she does so with the hand-eye coordination of a professional gamer.



However, what really amazes me is her disposition when she is in this contraption.  There are tons of books and videos addressing the power of posture, the power of physical positioning and it's influence on the mental position and mental health.  
These short (35 minute) sessions that Catherine experiences twice per day confirms the theories.  Each time she is placed in the stander her demeanor changes.  She's happy, smiles more (if that's possible) and is more outgoing.  She wheels around the house greet…

Take Up Your Cross

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

In the First Reading, Moses challenges the people, and us, to "choose life". He says, "choose life, that you and your descendants may live." This seems pretty practical. If we choose life, we and our descendants will go on. If not, well...

However, I think we need to look deeper. In fact, I would encourage you to insert a word here in the scriptures, if only mentally - "choose eternal life." For most of us, choosing life is not much of a choice in the arena of our daily lives. Most of us do not rise in the morning with the thought of I'm going to choose to live this day racing through our brains. Yet choosing eternal life must be an everyday, and in fact every moment, choice. It is an effort to make those choices day after day and minute after minute. In some degree, every choice we make throughout our day is a choice for either eternal life or eternal death - therefore choose life!

So how then do we "choo…