You will hear a great deal in the next few days about the early death of basketball star Kobe Bryant, who seems to have been a practicing Catholic. It might even bump some impeachment coverage off the waves.
A death like this is very sad. We should say a prayer for him and his closest.
His death will seem sadder to many because of his fame.
YOU are no less valuable to God, no less desired by Him for heaven than the late Mr. Bryant.
Sudden death happens. It happens to quite a lot of people, as a matter of fact.
Bluntly, if sudden, unforeseen, death happened to Kobe Bryant, it can easily happen to you.
Just look the wrong way at the wrong moment.
Some deaths are foreseen or predictable or made more likely by circumstances. One universal circumstance is that every single one of us is going to die. The question is when and how, not if.
Will it be slow? Will it be swift? Will we know when it’s coming? Will we have no advance warning? Will we be aware or wholly unaware?
One of the most poignant and important petitions in the Litany of Saints is our plea to God is:
A subitanea et improvisa morte, libera nos, Domine.
From a sudden and unprovided death, save us, O Lord.
Sudden death is one thing. It can be a grace, as opposed to a long, drawn out agony. On the other hand, for some people the long agony is a grace, for it gives them the chance to repent and offer their suffering in reparation for their sins.
So, sudden or foreseen or long or quick… that’s 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?
Dear readers, one of the main reason I put myself into this blog, my force multiplier, is because every single one of you is going to die. I want every one of you to enjoy the happiness of heaven. Some of you, however, haven’t darkened the door of a confessional for a long time. I tremble for you.
I beg you.
GO TO CONFESSION.
It might be your last.