Monday, April 08, 2013

Last words

What is your only comfort in life and in death?

That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ, who with His precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, that all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live unto Him.

(The Heidelberg Catechism)

Roger Ebert’s mother on her deathbed:

I never told my mother I wouldn't become a priest, but she got the idea. Even after starting work in Chicago, I never found the nerve, when we were visiting each other, to not attend Sunday Mass with her. She knew well enough those were the only times I went to church. What I was doing, I suppose, was going through the motions to respect a tradition that was more important to her than to me. She believed in the faith until the hour of her death. In her final days, she lapsed into a comatose state. She didn't respond to questions, and her eyes remained closed. Under her breath, barely audible, she repeated the "Hail, Mary" over and over. She was buried from St. Patrick's Church, and I tipped the altar boys.

John Murray’s father on his deathbed:

I have to give you the sad news that my father passed away last Wednesday. The news of his passing brings a peculiar feeling of sorrow, but I am also filled with a deep feeling of gratitude and joy. He was a dear and eminently worthy father, so faithful, so loving. It is an inexpressible privilege to believe that he is now with the Lord and Savior whom he loved and served for so long. Every indication points in the direction that the work of saving grace was wrought in him at a very early age and with unimpeachable integrity and perseverance he witnessed to the Lord to the ripe age of 90. His interest was lively and his faculties unimpaired, until, just a few weeks ago, his interest in things of this world seemed largely to disappear. In the last letter I had from my sister she told me that for the two days preceding, he was in the 51st psalm and repeated it again and again from the beginning to the end in Gaelic, his mother tongue, of course.

Collected Writings of John Murray, 3:82.

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