Happy Feast! Your Guardian Angel is looking out for you, and hears your prayers.
Short on time today; re-posting an excerpt from a wildly unpopular essay from August of last year on the Four Last Things. It is well past time to start prepping. The message is harsh, but with a happy ending. Enjoy!
Your Particular Judgment will not be a negotiation. In fact, your Particular Judgment won’t even be a dialogue in the normal sense. To the extent that any back-and-forth does take place, there certainly won’t be any sort of quid pro quo, bargaining, splainin, whining, rationalizing, or blame gaming. There will be zero deceit or falsehood. It will be pure Truth, pure facts, pure and perfect Judgment. You won’t be able to lie anymore, not to God, not to yourself, nor to anyone else. You shall be shown what you have done, and you shall respond, “Yes.”
Our Lord will be there, pointing to Himself on Calvary while he plays back your life choices, and then you will nod, saying, “Yes. I know you did that for me, and yes, I chose to do what I did anyway.” The only participation you will have is admission of guilt. It’s not a trial, nor a negotiation. Your life was the trial. You will literally have nothing up your sleeve at that point. No lawyer to get you out of it. Your Guardian Angel will be by your side, and on your side, but you’ve really put him through the wringer too, haven’t you?
If you look at anything in scripture and it makes you uncomfortable, it’s for your own good. And if you see something that makes you think you just can’t go on living your life unless the words must mean something other than the plain meaning of the words, go look in the mirror. Those are God’s words, and the problem is never with God, it’s always with you.
Lest you think that you’ll be due some disproportionate show of mercy at your own Particular Judgment, because all the good that you’ve done will surely make you totally irresistible in the eyes of God at that moment, think again. Every ounce of good you have ever done was nothing more than you responding properly and proportionally to the graces being offered to you. “Doing good” is simply you acting the way God designed you to act, ordered toward your own spiritual gain. You don’t get extra credit for that, and it doesn’t “make up” for your wretchedness. This is why no one can “earn” nor “merit” Heaven on their own. You will never, ever, “deserve” Heaven. The time to beg for mercy isn’t then, it’s now. Repent, beg for mercy, and start making better choices.
Does that sound harsh? Depressing? Unfair?
On the contrary, this is exactly the Good News. Your eternal reward has already been purchased for you. Someone else accomplished that for you. Your role is to admit that you are powerless to get there on your own, be sorry for your sinfulness, promise to try to do better, and really mean it. REALLY. MEAN. IT. You have to actually do something about it. It is by rooting out sin and conforming your life to the Will of God that your personal relationship with Jesus Christ is founded and fostered. He doesn’t give us rules to be a jerk or to make it hard. Yes, some of the rules are harder to live out than others, but all of it is there for our own good, because He loves us. Everything has been done for you out of love, and He desires your love in return.
“Yes, I know that You died for me, brutally, so that I might live, and yes, I chose to make those terrible choices anyway.” Every human being is going to have to say these words.
The thing you want to be really sure about, I mean really, really sure, is that you can count yourself among those who will be able to add:
“But You know that I am truly sorry, not just here at the end, but every time I failed you. It was I who betrayed you in the Garden, it was I who scourged you at the pillar, it was I who crowned you with thorns, it was I who nailed you to the Cross. But I am truly sorry. Through your grace, I learned to know, love, and serve you in this world, and I desire to be with you forever in the next. I detest all my sins, I love You with all my heart, all my soul, until my dying breath and unto now, and You know I always did EVERYTHING I could to conform my will to Yours. ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.’ (2 Tim 4:7)”
Get on your knees and start now.