THE VANITY OF THE WORLD – DEATH SHOWS US THE VANITY OF THE WORLD
St. John Chrysostom says: “Go to the tomb, and contemplate the dust and worms and –sigh!” O the great secret of death! Things the most desirable on this earth lose all their splendour when viewed from the bed of death.
O the great secret of death! How it brings to an end all worldly desires! How it shows all worldly grandeur as smoke and deceit! Things the most desired of this earth lose all their splendour when beheld from the bed of death. The shadow of death obscures the beauty of all things here below.
Of what profit are riches when nothing remains but a winding-sheet? Of what advantage bodily beauty, when all is reduced to a heap of worms? Of what avail is authority, when nothing remains but to be thrown into the grave, and be forgotten by all?
St. Chrysostom says: “Go to the sepulchre, contemplate dust and worms—and sigh!” Look on the graves of the dead; see those skeletons gnawed by worms and crumbling into dust, and say, with a sign: Ah, such must I become, and why do I not think of this? Why do I not give myself to God? Alas! who knows but that which I am now reading may be the last call for me?
O my dear Redeemer, I accept of my death, and I accept of it in whatever way it may please Thee to send it to me; but I beseech Thee, before Thou judgest me, to allow me time to bewail the offences I have committed against Thee. I love Thee, O my Jesus, and I am truly sorry for having despised Thee.
O my God, how many miserable beings, to obtain worldly goods, pleasures, vanities, have lost their souls, and, by losing their souls, have lost all!
Do we believe or not that we must one day die? And that only once? And why do we not leave all, to secure a happy death? Let us leave all, to secure all.
Is it possible we realize that the remembrance of a disorderly life will at the hour of death be an insufferable torment, and still continue to live on in sin?
O my God, I thank Thee for the light Thou affordest me. But, O Lord, what have I done? Have I multiplied my sins, and hast Thou increased Thy graces? Woe to me, if I do not avail myself of them!
He who reflects that in a short time he must leave the world will not be attached to it.
Oh, with what peace of soul do those live and die who, despoiled of all things, are contented to say, My God and my all!
Solomon said that all the goods of this earth are only vanity and affliction of spirit; since the more one possesses of the goods of this world, the more he suffers.
St. Philip Neri used to call those fools whose hearts are attached to this world. Fools, because even here they lead miserable lives.
O my God, what now remains of the many sinful deeds of which I have been guilty, but the pain and remorse that torment me, and will torment me still more at the hour of death? Oh, do Thou, O Lord, make haste to pardon me! Thou desirest that I should be all Thine, and such do I desire to be. Behold, from this moment, I give myself to Thee, and I desire nothing in return but Thyself.
Let us not imagine that to be detached from all things, in order to love God alone, is to live an unhappy life. Who on this earth is so contented and happy as the man who loves Jesus Christ with his whole heart? Find me one amongst all the kings of the world, who is more happy than the man who gives himself entirely to God.
My soul, if now thou wert to depart out of this world, wouldst thou die satisfied with thy past life? And for what dost thou delay? Is it that the light which God in His mercy now affords thee may only serve to reproach thee at the great accounting day?
O Jesus, I renounce all to give myself to Thee. Thou didst seek me when I fled from Thee; and now that I seek Thee, do not reject me. Thou didst love me when I did not love Thee, nor even desire that Thou shouldst love me; and now that I have no other desire but to love Thee, and to be loved by Thee, cast me not away from Thy face. O my God, I am now convinced that Thou desirest to save me, and I desire to work out my salvation to please Thee. I leave all, and give my whole self to Thee. Mary, Mother of God, pray to Jesus for me.