Last things

'This is your hour; this is the reign of darkness.' So the sinful man has his hour? Yes… and God his eternity!


If you are an apostle, death for you will be a good friend who helps you on your way.


Have you seen the dead leaves fall in the sad autumn twilight? Thus souls fall each day into eternity. One day, the falling leaf will be you.


Have you never heard the worldly-minded sadly complain that 'each day that passes is a step nearer death'?

It is. And I tell you: rejoice, apostolic soul, for each day that pass brings you closer to Life.


For 'others', death is a stumbling block, a source of terror. For us, death — Life — is an encouragement and a stimulus.

For them it is the end: for us, the beginning.


Don't be afraid of death. Accept it from now on, generously… when God wills it, where God wills it, as God wills it. Don't doubt what I say: it will come in the moment, in the place and in the way that are best: sent by your Father-God. Welcome be our sister death!


What part of the world would collapse if I were missing, if I were to die?


Do you see how the corpse of the loved one disintegrates in foul and reeking liquids? That, then, is the body beautiful! Contemplate it and draw your own conclusions.


Those paintings by Valdes Leal, with their distinguished heaps of decaying flesh — bishops, noblemen, all in rank corruption — surely they must move you.

What then do you say of the Duke of Gandía's cry: 'No more will I serve a lord whom I can lose through death'?


You talk of dying 'heroically'. Do you not think that it is more 'heroic' to die a bourgeois death, in a good bed, unnoticed… but to die of love-sickness.


You — if you are an apostle — will not have to die. You will move to a new house: that is all.


'He shall come to judge the living and the dead.' So we pray in the Creed. God grant that you never lose sight of that judgment and of that justice and… of that Judge.


Does your soul not burn with the desire to make your Father God happy when he has to judge you?


Worldly souls are very fond of thinking of God's mercy. And so they are encouraged to persist in their follies.

It is true that God our Lord is infinitely merciful, but he is also infinitely just: and there is a judgment, and he is the Judge.


Courage. Don't you know that Saint Paul tells the Corinthians that each will duly be paid according to his share in the work?


There is a hell. Not a very original statement, you think. I will repeat it, then: there is a hell!

Echo it for me, at the right moment, in the ear of one friend, and of another, and another.


Listen to me, you who are absorbed in science: your science cannot deny the reality of diabolic activities. My Mother, the holy Church, for many years required her priests each day at the foot of the altar to invoke Saint Michael, 'against the wickedness and snares of the devil'.


Heaven: 'the eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man to conceive the things that God has prepared for those who love him.'

Don't these revelations of the Apostle spur you on to fight?


Always. For ever! Words brought to our lips by our human desire to prolong — to make eternal — what is pleasant.

Lying words, on earth, where everything must end.


All that this earth can offer us is continually passing away: hardly has pleasure begun than it is already ended.

• Text in chapter 'Last things' in the book 'The Way' of Josemaría Escrivá. Link: