From Chapter Seventeen, "You Were Not Willing! Pride and Impenitence":
In the hour of death all grounds for arrogance or vanity are swiftly passing away, yet some still refuse to humble themselves. Their Lord calls them, as he once called the people of Jerusalem, to lay aside their pride and run to him for refuge, as helpless chicks run to a mother hen. But now as then, many are unwilling to do so (see Matthew 23:37). ...
Most chilling are the final pronouncements of those whose pride has hardened into impenitence. They blaspheme; they defy God and his law; they justify themselves. They set themselves in their Master's place, daring to judge his ways, mock his name, deny his existence. We must leave their souls in heaven's merciful hands. Perhaps between the last word and the last heartbeat there was a moment of grace, a flash of interior repentance. God alone knows.William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) was a Union general in the Civil War known for his harsh 'scorched earth' tactics against the civilian population of Georgia, where he remains a despised figure for his cruelty. When asked what inscription he wanted on his gravestone, he said: "Faithful and honorable, faithful and honorable."
Joan Crawford (1908-1977), the American actress, left the church many years before she died. As she was on her deathbed, she said to her housekeeper, who had begun to pray aloud: "Damn it! How dare you ask God to help me!"
Louis XV, king of France, led a life of personal debauchery. He declared proudly: "I have caused more than a hundred thousand Masses to be said for the repose of unhappy souls, so that I flatter myself I have not been a very bad Christian."