Death gives us great lessons for life. It teaches us to live with what is necessary, detached from the goods that we have to use, but that in a time, always short, we will have to leave; we will carry, forever, the merit of our good works.
Death teaches us to make the most of each day: carpe diem, enjoy the present, as the ancients used to say; and we, with a Christian sense, can give it a new meaning: let us joyfully make the most of each day as if it were the only one, knowing that it will never be repeated. Today, at the time of the examination of conscience, it will give us great joy to think of the ejaculatory prayers, acts of love for the Lord, dealings with the Guardian Angel, favors to others, small services, overcomings in the fulfillment of duty, patience perhaps..., which the Lord has turned into precious jewels for eternity. With death ends the possibility of meriting for eternal life20. Let us not let these days slip away, numbered and counted, that remain to reach the end of the road.
The uncertainty of the moment of our definitive encounter with God impels us to be vigilant, as one who awaits the arrival of his Lord, carefully examining our conscience, with true contrition for the weaknesses of that journey; making good use of frequent Confession to cleanse our soul even of venial sins and faults of love. The memory of death helps us to work harder at the task of our own sanctification, living not as fools, but as prudent, making up for lost time, making up for so many days and so many lost opportunities; sometimes it can happen what the classic wrote: "It is not that we have little time, but that we have lost much. Let us make the most of the time we have left.
We should want to live a long time, to render greater services to God, to present ourselves before the Lord with our hands fuller..., and because we love life, which is a gift from God. And when our encounter with the Lord arrives, even those last moments must serve us to purify our life and offer ourselves with an act of love to God the Father. St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote: "As in all life, so also in death, and much more, each one (...) should strive and strive that God our Lord may be glorified and served in it, and his neighbors edified, at least by the example of his patience and fortitude, with living faith, hope and love of eternal goods...". The last moment here on earth must also be for the glory of God. What joy we will have then in all that we strive to accomplish in life for the Lord: the work offered, the people we try to bring to the sacrament of Confession, the thousand little details of service to the one who worked so many hours with us, the joy we bring to the family and to everyone, the intemperance we try to excuse and forget....
After having left here fruits that will last until eternal life, we will leave.