We must part from our riches at death, so we might as well use them for our spiritual profit in this life

November 7, 2021 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 338

Life is short; every moment brings us nearer to death. Why, then, lay up so much provision for so short a journey? Why burden yourself with so many possessions which must necessarily impede your progress?

When you will have reached the end of your earthly pilgrimage, poor in this world’s goods, your wealth of real treasure will far exceed that of the covetous, whose lives have been spent in accumulating riches.

How different will be the account exacted of you, and how readily you will part from the little you may have of the goods of earth, because you always esteemed them at their true value!

But the rich and the covetous, in addition to the terrible account which will be required of them, will be rent with anguish at parting from that wealth which they loved and adored during life.

Besides the reflections I have suggested, I would ask: For whom are you amassing these goods? Do you not know that you must leave this world as poor and naked as you entered it? [Job i. 21.]

Think of this, says St. Jerome, and it will be easy for you to despise the riches of this world. Beware, then, lest in the pursuit of these you lose the treasures of eternity.

Death will rob you of all your earthly possessions; your works, good and bad, will alone accompany you beyond the tomb.

If this dread hour find you unprepared, great will be your misfortune. All that remains to you will then be distributed into three portions, your body will become the food of worms; your soul the victim of demons, and your wealth the prey of eager and perhaps ungrateful or extravagant heirs.

Ah! dear Christian, follow the counsel of our Saviour; share your wealth with the poor, that it may be borne before you into the kingdom which you hope to enjoy. What folly to leave your treasures in a place of banishment whither you will never return, instead of sending them before you to that country which is intended for your eternal home!

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