One of my favourite programmes on Radio Four is “Last Word’ which is a weekly obituary programme about those who have died recently. I also always cast my eye over the obituaries in the newspaper and I note the persons age. I am conscious of my life on earth is nearing the end.
We are encouraged to always be ready and waiting for death. This is not being morbid. God has brought us into life because of his overwhelming love for us and at death he is calling us back to him. We are born out of love and will die into love. What we need to do is to befriend death. I need to realise that I am here for a short time in order to show others that they are beloved of God as you are.
Now in my 70th year, I am closer to death. How should I prepare for death? Henri Nouwen suggests that the best way is to become a child again. Jesus says “ Unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven” (Matt 18:3). We need to renew our childlike dependence and trust in God.
O Lord. When shall I die? I do not know and I hope it will not be soon. Not that I feel so attached to this life..but I feel so unprepared to face you. I feel that by letting me live a little longer, you reveal your patience, you give me yet another chance to convert myself, more time to purify my heart, Time is your gift to me. Amen. (Henri Nouwen)