When I think about these passages from the Scriptures, I no longer see that beautiful maranatha prayer as a request that requires God to act while I sit around and soak up the goodness. It is indeed beautiful, but it carries with it a weighty question: Am I really ready, right now, for God’s Kingdom to come?My mom's death may have been unexpected, and sudden, but it was also a happy and holy death. She was anointed two days before she died, and a priest was in the room with her and my dad and many of us kids when she died. She went to Mass almost daily, receiving the Eucharist often. I didn't make it my business to ask how often she went to Confession, so I don't know that. My mom prayed the rosary almost every day, she prayed morning & evening prayer, she prayed the Bible a lot. One of our last conversations was about the Bible; I was trying to help her find a commentary on John.
I am happy that she had a holy death, and perhaps it sounds strange to say it like that, but she was afforded an opportunity that not everyone is: to receive anointing of the sick, to have a priest (and her husband and children) pray over her dying body, to have many many Masses and prayers said for the repose of her soul.
If you don't already know, my mom was a gardener, and could just about grow anything. She grew roses, of all varieties, but the peace rose was what she really loved. The day after her death, my sister and I were trying to work on the funeral program. We asked another sibling and our dad to look at it, and as they passed us by, I could smell, very strongly, the scent of roses. I was the only one to smell them, and I just soaked it in.
I'm still in shock over her death, I truly am. But what hit home for me about my mom's death was the fact that we have a feeling my mom knew what was coming, and was prepared for it. Not just the physical stuff or the funeral stuff, though a lot was done. (To be honest, she's been working on the funeral stuff with my dad for a couple of years. There was just some newer notes of hers from the last couple of weeks that suggest she knew she might not be living much longer.) But my mom was prepared, in her soul, to meet the Lord.
In reflecting upon this word, and upon my mom's death, I've been thinking a lot about death, and heaven, and hell, lately. I've been pondering what it really means to be ready for God's kingdom. I don't know all the answers, and I'm still struggling a lot with depression and grief and inappropriate behaviors (more on that in a bit). I do know that I'm usually not ready for God's kingdom. Most of the time, I just want to get drunk and forget about the fact that my mom is dead, and I will never see her again on this earth or hear her voice. I don't want to care about my house, or myself, and it's been really hard to love my children and my husband properly.
I want to do my best, I do want to please God and love Him rightly, and I do want to avoid hell and get to heaven......I see posts like this that make me think, "GET THEE TO CONFESSION!"
It's just that, right now, I'm floundering. Yes, I have been to Confession (last Saturday), yes I have been to Mass. But it's been so hard to actually pray. No, not hard, damn near impossible.
I know this post isn't really about this word, and yet, it is. All I can say is, "Lord, please grant me more time that I may have as holy of a death as my mother's."