Even though this is a topic that few like discussing, death is an imminent reality. When people die, their loved ones send messages on cards or chisel on tombstones expressions of what the person meant to them, including some of the person’s qualities or deeds. Now let’s suppose that your time of death is today, and those sentences won’t be written by your loved ones, but by heaven’s angels….What do you think the words would be in your case? What would this card say if it were you they were writing about?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that when a person dies, his or her immortal soul receives eternal recompense in Christ’s particular judgment, as Jesus is the judge of the living and the dead. (CCC 1051) From this we understand that the life of the future world is determined by the form in which we live this life and the way we utilize the talents that we have received. For those who don’t believe in this, life passes on as if it were a short period of time that starts the day they are born and ends with death; they think that this life is all there is and, for this reason, life needs to be “lived to the fullest,” without any sort of deprivation or sacrifice. Yet, it is actually in these times of “living without” when we grow the most and learn how to live to our fullest potential.
Our potential is impacted every day of our life by the daily decisions we make. Are you aware that these decisions determine how your future will turn out? Have you thought that what you do in this life has an eternal transcendence? Because you will only live once on this earth, when your life here ends, that’s it – no more chances to plead with God, be a good example to others, forgive or ask for forgiveness. In addition, there will be no more opportunities for evangelizing, being merciful to others or hugging loved ones. The day you die, the book of your life can no longer be modified.
Even so, God loved us to the point that he gave His Son for us and, in that same love, he created us free to accept (or not accept) his salvation. Jesus is the true Path to the Father and the way we live our relationship with Christ will determine where our house will be in eternity. We must not forget that Jesus came to give us life in abundance.
How much time do you have left on this earth? A day? A month? A year? Or ten years? No one knows. Why not, then, center your attention on what’s important in heaven rather than waste your time investing your life and resources on what will not be valuable for eternity? For, as it is said, “we are citizens of heaven.” (Philippians 3:20)
Since we are citizens of heaven, let’s construct our lives on the foundation that, as St. Paul says, is Jesus Christ. Let’s detach ourselves from the things of this world, a world in which we are just passersby, so that the things we do acquire value and become acts that last for eternity. Let’s be good administrators of the talents that God has given us and let’s not be dispirited when we have to renounce those things, which we know deep inside, will take us farther from the eternal presence of God. It’s better to repeat with faith, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18) “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8: 36)
Maria Cristina was born in Santa Marta, Colombia to a Catholic family on the day of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. From this gift from Heaven and through the example of her mother, she took a deep love for the Blessed Virgin Mary to whom she has consecrated her life together with her husband and her two children. She knows that Mary is truly her Mom who helps her in every aspect of life.
At the age of 32, Maria was diagnosed with breast cancer and she began a life full of physical suffering, but it was also a life with much grace and many blessings. It was then, in those moments of loneliness and isolation, that she was able to experience the Love of God and hear His Voice deep in her heart. The miracle of healing occurred and since then Maria has dedicated herself to serving the Lord. She does this by sharing her testimony with others in order to bring hope to suffering souls and by leading and participating in different activities such as retreats, Catholic financial ministry, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and activities that help those most in need. She knows that nothing comes from herself, but that everything she does is a product of Divine Grace. Maria is confident that Jesus lives in her house and that He will never leave!