Maxims of Eternity
Meditations for Every Day in the Week.
Meditation for Sunday
The End of Man.
Consider, O my soul! that the being which you enjoy was given to you by God: he created you to his own image, without any merit on your part; he adopted you for his child by baptism; he loved you more than the most affectionate parent could have loved you; he has made you all you are, that you might know him, love him, and serve him in this life, and thereby arrive at the eternal possession of him in heaven. Hence you did not come into this world for the sake of enjoyment to grow rich and powerful, to eat, drink, and sleep like irrational animals, but solely to love your God and to work out your eternal salvation. And is this the object that I have hitherto had in view? Oh! how unfortunate have I been, in having thought of everything else rather than of my last end. O God! I beg of Thee, in the name and for the love of Jesus, to grant that I may begin a new life of perfect holiness and conformity to Thy divine will.Read more . . .
Consider what deep remorse and bitter regret you will feel at the hour of death, if, during life, you have not devoted yourself to the service of God. How great will be your disappointment when, at the close of your days, you will perceive that nothing remains at that sorrowful moment of all your goods, of all your pleasures, and of all your earthly glory, but a shadow that flies before you, and a bitter remembrance which pursues you! What will be your consternation when you will discover that, for the sake of miserable vanities, you have lost your God, your soul, and your salvation, without the possibility of being able to repair your misfortune? O despair! O cruel torment! you will then see the value of the time that you are losing; but it will be too late. Gladly would you then purchase time at the price of all you have: but you will not be able to do so. Oh! how full of bitterness and sorrow will that day be for every soul that has not loved and served the Lord !
Consider the general disregard of men for their last end. Their ordinary thoughts are upon the accumulation of wealth, the gratification of their senses, parties of pleasure, amusement, and festivity. They think nothing of God or of his service: they do nothing for the salvation of their souls: they regard the affair of salvation as a trifle not worthy of notice. Thus, O deplorable misfortune! the greater part of Christians, by indulging in foolish pleasures and criminal gratifications, precipitate themselves into hell. O man! you take much pains to damn yourself, and will you do nothing for your salvation? Listen to the dying sentiments of a Secretary of State of one of the kings of England: “How great,” said he, “is my misfortune: I have used many sheets of paper in writing letters for my sovereign, and, alas! I have not used one to help me in the recollection of my sins, that I might make a good confession!” Listen to the death-bed sentiments of a king of Spain: “Oh that I had spent my life in a desert, occupied in serving God, and had never been a king!” But to what do these sighs and lamentations then serve, but to augment the horrors of despair? Learn, then, this day, at the expense of others, to devote yourself to the salvation of your soul: remember well that all your actions, all your words, and all your thoughts, that are not directed to God, are entirely lost. Oh! it is time then to amend your life. Do not wait, therefore, to be convinced of this till you arrive at the gates of eternity, and the jaws of hell: it will be then too late. O my God! pardon me all the errors of my life: I love Thee above all things. I am sorry, from the bottom of my heart, for all my sins. O Mary! my hope, intercede with Jesus in my behalf.