A Sobering Reflection by St. Alphonsus Liguori

We are now at the end of 1761.  Today the New Year of 1762 had begun.  How many saw the beginning of the year that has just gone but did not live to see its end!  We should give thanks to God that we are allowed to see its conclusion.  But do we know whether we shall see the end of this year?  Certainly, many will not see it.  Who knows if we shall not among this number?  A year must dawn for us that will be our last.

We should awaken our faith and strive for the remainder of our lives to live according to the maxims of our faith.  Why should we wait until death overtakes us and finds us living according to the maxims of the world?  Let us awaken our faith to realize that this earth is not our true home but that we are merely here as pilgrims.

Our faith will give us confidence in our difficulties, teaching us that whoever prays will be saved.  May our faith make us always live with the thought of eternity.  Let's keep ever before our eyes this great thought - everything in this world comes to an end, whether it be prosperity or adversity.  Eternity alone never ends. -  St. Aphonsus Liguori

No one wants to believe that "this year" will be their last.  I certainly don't, but I'm at an age where it's certainly possible.  I turned sixty this year and I'm in good health, but maybe I only have twenty years left.  Who knows?

I don't like to think about it, but St. Alphonsus has and his words are a reminder to me that even after thirty years of being a Catholic, I still need to awaken my faith.


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