O MY LORD,
May I arrive where means of grace cease
and I need no more to fast, pray,
be tempted, attend preaching and sacrament;
where nothing defiles,
where is no grief, sorrow, sin, death,
separation, tears, pale face, languid body,
aching joints, feeble infancy, decrepit age,
peccant humours, pining sickness,
gripping fears, consuming cares;
where is personal completeness;
where the more perfect the sight
the more beautiful the object,
the more perfect the appetite
the sweeter the food,
the more musical the ear
the more pleasant the melody,
the more complete the soul
the more happy its joys,
where is full knowledge of thee.
Here I am an ant, and as I view a nest of ants
so dost thou view me and my fellow-creatures;
But as an ant knows not me, my nature,
so here I cannot know thee clearly.
But there I shall be near thee,
dwell with my family,
stand in thy presence chamber,
be an heir of thy kingdom,
as the spouse of Christ,
as a member of his body,
one with him who is with thee,
and exercise all my powers of body and soul
in the enjoyment of thee.
As praise in the mouth of thy saints is comely,
so teach me to exercise this divine gift,
when I pray, read, hear, see, do,
in the presence of people and of my enemies,
as I hope to praise thee eternally hereafter.
(Heaven Desired; The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions)
I don’t seem to do real well with death. For some reason I understand Jesus’ death, but regular people, that concept just tears me up. I have gotten a lot better in responding to it. But no matter what, it is sad. I always find myself reflecting on life and what I can do to live better. Or what I can do to just be a better person.
I was listening to a song yesterday that sang about living like we are dying. What a sobering thought. How would you live if you didn’t have that much longer to live? What would you do, what would you say? These are not always easy questions with easy answers
Maybe that is why people always think of death in a variety of ways in order to better handle it. I think it is interesting to find out how different cultures and faith view death and dying. Thankfully since we all really don’t know, it is easy to accept different answers. I find that whatever seems to comfort a person, is good for me.