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Saturday, 18 April 2015

Recommended by a Reader Today-a Great Book!

The Four Last Things by Father Martin von Cochem is one most older Catholics would recognize. But, in recent times, priests have shied away from talking about the real deal of judgment, death, heaven and hell.

Preaching about love is always superior to preaching about punishment, but in our day, the entire long tradition of the Church on the Last Four Things has all but been forgotten.

I have referred to this book before on the blog and now I find that is, as the reader noted, should be required reading for all Catholics.

The section on mortal sin should be a must for all who are confused about the seriousness of mortal sin.

Most people do not think of death as bringing judgment. Some think one's soul merely merges with God's. Some people actually do not believe in the afterlife.

Everytime we pray the Hail Mary, we ask Our Lady to pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

The reason is that time is satan's last chance to snatch us away from God. The grace of final perseverance is a special grace, about which I have written. Look at the tag, "grace".

Here is a snippet from Father Cochem on this point.

The evil spirits will tempt their unhappy victim at the moment of death on various points, but especially in regard to the sins into which he has most frequently fallen. If during his lifetime he has cherished hatred towards any one, they will conjure up before his dying eyes the image of that person, rehearsing all he did to injure him, in order to revive the flame of hate towards that enemy, or kindle it anew. Or if any one has transgressed against purity, they will show him the accomplice of his sin, and strive to awaken the guilty passion felt for that individual. If he has been troubled with doubts concerning faith, they recall to his mind the article of belief which he had difficulty in accepting, representing it to him as untrue. If a man has a tendency to pusillanimity, the evil spirits encourage it in him, that they may perchance rob him of his hope of salvation. The man who has sinned through pride, and boasted of his good works, they seek to ensnare by flattery, assuring him that he stands high in the favour of God, and all he has done cannot fail to secure him a place in Heaven. Again, if in his lifetime a man has given way to impatience, allowing himself to be angry and irritated by every trifle, they make his illness appear most irksome to him that he may become impatient, and rebel against God for having sent upon him so painful a malady.

Or if he has been tepid and indevout, without fervour in prayer or assiduity in his religious exercises they try to maintain in his soul this state of apathy, suggesting to him that his physical weakness is too great even to allow him to join in the prayers his friends read to him. Finally, they tempt those who have led a godless life, and repeatedly fallen into mortal sin, to despair, representing their transgressions to be so great as to be past forgiveness. In a word, the spirits of evil assail mortals at the moment of death most fiercely at their most vulnerable point, just as a skillful general will storm a fortress on the side where he perceives the ramparts to be weakest. 

But the devils do not always confine themselves to tempting a man in regard to his chief failings and predominant faults; they frequently tempt him to sins of which he has not hitherto been guilty. For these crafty foes spare no pains to deceive the dying, and if they fail in one way, they attempt to succeed in another. These temptations are of no ordinary character. They are sometimes so violent that it is impossible for weak mortals to resist them without supernatural assistance. If it is all that any one in good health can do to withstand the assaults of the devil, and even such a one is often overcome by them, how difficult must it be for one who is enfeebled by sickness to struggle against foes so formidable!

Pray for purification on this earth so that your last minutes find you at peace with God.