“Every day should be passed as if it were to be our last.” ~ Publilius Syrus
When I saw the quote above, I immediately thought of the first pilgrimage I took that included a visit to Siena. There, we celebrated Mass in the chapel where St. Catherine of Siena would have gone to Mass. On the sacristy wall was a plaque that had the following inscription: Priest of God, celebrate this Holy Mass as if it were first Mass, your last Mass, your only Mass. Being in that holy place was already remarkable enough. Having that thought to reflect upon was an incredible bonus.
I think of that day often as I prepare to celebrate Mass. I try to live up to the admonition when I prepare for Mass. I want Mass to be a fervent and fruitful prayer not only for myself but for the whole assembly. I want it to be filled with joy as well as piety. I want people to leave Mass feeling as if they had contact with a God who loves them absolutely and incredibly.
When we live in absolutes, we give ourselves over completely. The Syrian slave who was brought to Rome and later became a great Latin scholar reminds us today that our day should be lived to the full since it should be viewed as our last day.
How many times throughout your life have you repeated that old game of “If you knew today were your last day, what would you do?” Some give flowery kinds of answers. Some become philosophical. Some get emotional. What would you do? Would you embrace the day as one last great gift or would you approach each minute with dread wondering if it were to be your last minute?
The choice to live in wonder, awe, fear, or dread is up to each person. It is not forced upon us. People in the worst conditions often find hope and people who have enough means never to worry often live in dread. It is because they have chosen to view the day a certain kind of way.
My last day? I would like to think it would be filled with a few things:
Forgiveness: I would attempt to seek forgiveness from anyone I may have wronged.
Confession: I would want to make sure that I sought God’s forgiveness sacramentally.
Praise & Thanksgiving: I would attempt to recall the many gifts that God has given to me throughout the years and thank Him for His wondrous love.
Anticipation: I would wait, with joyful and hopeful anticipation, for God to call me home.
Today should be passed as if it were your last day. How are you going to pass your day?
FAITH ACTION: Make time today to recall the many things that God has done for you and yours and then take the time to let Him know how you feel about His wondrous love.