“What you can do today, defer not till tomorrow; for a day once passed never returns, and tomorrow death may come” (St. Alphonsus de Liguori).
I said in my post this morning that I had my Friday’s meditation ready-made with that photo of Morocco. I was joking, of course, in my implying that the Minnesota cold was indeed my mortification and that my not being on vacation was for me a source of suffering.
The subject of my meditation changed dramatically when I saw the morning paper.
How sad and how very tragic to read of the unexpected death of a 39-year-old wife and mother, a death that came after a lifetime of attention that I should never have wanted.
I’m talking, of course, about Anna Nicole Smith.
And I doubt that I’m the only one who is weirded out by her premature passing.
I know her face only from the tabloids; her story, from the headlines plastered there. I have never even heard the high-pitched voice for which she’s famous.
But I know her, in the same way I knew Princess Diana or River Phoenix. The sudden death of someone so young and famous is always unnerving.
One day they are larger than life.
And the next day, they are dead.
I am as saddened by the death of Anna Nicole Smith as I am by the very notorious life that she’d been leading—so many bad decisions for one young woman, and so much sorrow for the mother she’d become along the way.
Indeed, it seems she was moving from train wreck to train wreck, and ultimately you just had to turn your head.
She was just so young, and has left this world so sadly.
And she leaves behind a baby girl.
As I’ve said, I have much to ponder. I have upped the ante on my personal prayers (especially the Divine Mercy Chaplet) and I am trying not to sweat the small stuff. There is much too much of the big stuff going on.
I have also pulled one of my favorite prayer books off of the shelf: Preparation for Death by St. Alphonsus de Liguori. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, especially with Lent well on its way.
They say that two things in life are certain, but the four last things are more important: death, judgment, heaven, hell.
How great the folly of those who, for the miserable and transitory delights of this short life, expose themselves to the danger of an unhappy death, and afterward, of an unhappy eternity. Oh! How important is that last moment, that last gasp, the last closing of the scene. On it depends an eternity…(Preparation for Death; Consideration III: Shortness of Life; Third Point: Importance of the Last Moment).
The title of this post is Latin for “Remember death.”