YOU are other people.  It’s always someone else… until it’s YOU.

Last night I watched the news for the first time in a few days.

One guy in North Carolina, who lost everything because of Florence, said that he’d seen things like this on TV but he never thought it would happen there.

From time to time, I remind you to make at least basic preparations against the day when you might need to move fast or when disaster strikes.

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 or a nutjob with a rifle, 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.

You can lose your house and everything you own in a storm, but you can lose your immortal soul from a mortal sin unconfessed.

So, examine your consciences and …


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.

When did you last go to confession?

Moreover, consider well your living conditions and security.

If you haven’t done so yet, begin to develop a physical situational awareness. Seek advice and training from professionals.

If you haven’t done so yet, begin to develop a spiritual situational awareness.  Seek advice and training from priests.

Also, you should be reviewing what you will do, especially with your loved ones, when the big storm comes.   Will you have food, water, clothing a place to go, a way to keep yourselves safe if you have to move fast?


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Four Last Things, GO TO CONFESSION and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. frjimt says:

    truly, right here in penna… we had a brother priest, fr mike, 64, say his prayers, Holy Mass & sat down and died… a sudden, but not unprepared, journey… it was a gift from God. In the midst of all that surrounds us as ‘storms’, the church prays for his eternal rest & the people of God get to honor a good, simple man of God.

  2. Semper Gumby says:

    “Spiritual situational awareness.” Ok Fr. Z, that’s a keeper.

    Here’s a few photos from the last few days of the Onslow County and Camp Lejeune area on the North Carolina coast.

    Out of chain saws? No problem. One lad set to work sharpening his axe skills:

    Need a bridge? 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion at your service:

    Those AVLBs “Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge” are also handy for bridging anti-tank ditches. I’m told a bunch of utility trucks crossed over soon after these photos to get the power back on.

    Here’s a few Marines from the 2nd Intelligence Battalion who decided to improvise their own ferry with ropes, a kayak, and a fishing skiff:

    Well done. Perhaps they shuttled across not only people, drinking water, and baby formula but morale items such as Bibles, biographies of Winston Churchill, and key lime pie.

    Excellent work being done by the Coast Guard, Cajun Navy, police, fire, and volunteers. And by a group of Marines who, I’m told, already squared away the 1983 Beirut Memorial.

    Virtus tentamine gaudet.

    [The hurricane picked on the Marines. Mistake.]

  3. APX says:

    Death really can come out of the blue. I was listening to the Dave Ramsey Show the other day when a guy called In distraught because the week prior his 33 y/o wife died suddenly. She was carrying in the groceries with their daughter, and set the groceries down, said “oh, no” and collapsed dead. Turned out she had a large blood clot in her lung. (Another reason not to take ABC. There is a major risk factor for women on hormonal BC to get blood clots. It’s almost certain to happen if one smokes as well).

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