It’s 8:08 Saturday morning. You’ve slept in on a day off. Your phone has awakened you with a PING. With a measure of resentment you check The Precious™ for its message.
You read it once. And again. And – with the strange feeling that marks the arrival of adrenaline – again.
How much time do you have? 15 minutes? 30 minutes? Where do you go? Do you try to call people? Go somewhere?
When did you last…
GO TO CONFESSION?
You realize that it has been a … how long? … long time, since you’ve been to confession and the memory of a bunch of things floods your mind.
Unless you are across the street from the parish, you are pretty much out of luck.
What do you do?
Do you… start praying? Say you’re sorry to God?
People develop habits of prayer and thought through their lives that don’t suddenly change in the face of a catastrophe.
We have to practice for dying, just as athletes and soldiers practice drill endlessly to win.
How many times have I written about a sudden and unprovided death?
We don’t know the day or the minute when we will go before our Judge. Whether it is a natural event like a storm or meteor, or a man-made event like a drunk driver, a nutjob with a rifle, or a ballistic missile, we just don’t know.
Avoid the trap of thinking that these things only happen to other people. YOU are other people. It’s always someone else… until it’s you.
So, examine your consciences and …
GO TO CONFESSION.
I would also add as a regular feature of your daily prayers that important petition in the Litany of Saints:
“A subitanea et improvisa morte… From a sudden and unprovided death, spare us O Lord.”
Sudden is one thing. Unprovided is another.
An “unprovided” death is a death without access to the last sacraments, especially absolution from a priest.
That’s a scary thought…. especially if you haven’t been to confession for a long time.
What happened with that false alarm in Hawaii was dramatic and pretty awful.
This post is NOT a false alarm.
You. ARE. Going. To. DIE.
When did you last go to confession?