On Death

First Point - Why should we stand in such fear of death? Our sins, it is true, ought to alarm us; but the thought of the merits of Christ ought to reassure us. Our sins are great in themselves and in their number; but they are finite, while the virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ is infinite. Our evils are great, but the blood of our Saviour is a powerful remedy for all evils. I owe, it is true, ten thousand talents to the justice of God; but as great as this debt is, I am not insolvent, since I hold in my hands the price of the blood of Jesus Christ which is of infinite value. I dare say that I pay God more than I owe Him, when I offer Him the precious blood of His divine Son, I know that God will grant me pardon for my crimes when I ask it through the merits of Christ. Since He has given me His Son, can He refuse me anything?

Second Point - Why should we stand in such fear of death? I should fear indeed the judgment of God; but His mercy ought to reassure me. Is God less merciful than He is just? If His justice terrifies me, His mercy ought to calm my fears. I fear His justice, but I should hope in His mercy, since He Himself teaches me that His "mercy exalteth itself above judgment". - James 2:13 God draws from His own heart the motives of His mercy; He draws from our hearts the motives of His justice. During life we experience the reign of God's mercy, and after death the reign of His justice. If we have recourse to His mercy during life, if we have not a presumptuous confidence in it, we shall have no cause to fear His justice after death. If my salvation depended on the dearest friend that I have in the world, I would rest in peace. Yet what greater friend have I than Jesus Christ who has loved me so much that He has given His life for me?

Third Point - Why should we stand in such fear of death? We have, it is true, terrible enemies arraigned against us; we must repel the assaults of demons whose delight it is to make us companions in their misery. But however violent their rage may be, however redoubtable their efforts, we have, in the Blessed Virgin, a most powerful resource; we have in her heart a refuge where we will be secure from all the wiles of Satan. If Mary is our help, we should no longer fear the power of hell; her name causes the demons to tremble. Can we doubt that she is willing to aid us since she is our mother, and the kindest of all mothers? I am a wretched sinner, it is true, but Mary is the refuge of sinners and the mother of mercy.

When you are troubled by an immoderate fear of death, think of the mercy of God, the merits of Jesus Christ and the tenderness of our blessed Mother.

Behold God is my Saviour; I will deal confidently and will not fear. - Isaiah 12:2

He alone should despair of pardon who believes that his sins can equal the mercy of God. - Saint Augustine of Hippo

- text taken from Meditations for Every Day in a Month, by Father Fran├žois Nepveu