A Sudden and Unprovided Death
#1
Two propostions.

1.  In view of the bombing in Boston, it is fortunate that only three people were killed but a large number were injured.  Those in the proximate vicinity of the bomb were most likely to be the ones in danger of facing death without actually  aware of it.  This we refer to as sudden death.  Bomb goes off and you're right next to it -- boom, you're dead.  The question is, is your death provided for, meaning are you in the state of grace?  The tragedy is for a sudden and unprovided death.  How many are there of us who are not ready to go yet but have not spiritually prepared properly?  I would take that as traditional Catholics, we would assume that we perpetually frequent the Sacramants and the thought of death is always in our minds and we are always prepared to meet our Judge.

To be delivered from a sudden and unprovided death is this prayer:

Quote:Most merciful Lord Jesus! by Thine agony and bloody sweat, and by Thy death, deliver me, I beseech Thee, from a sudden and
unprovided death. O most gentle Lord Jesus! by Thy cruel and ignominious scourging and crowning with thorns, by Thy cross and
most bitter Passion, and by Thy goodness, I humbly pray Thee, let me not die unprepared and pass from this life without the Holy
Sacraments. Jesus, my best Beloved, my Lord! by all Thy labours and sorrows, by Thy precious Blood, and by Thy most holy
Wounds, and by those last words spoken on the cross by Thee: “Deus meus, Deus meus, ut quid dereliquisti me?? – “My God,
my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” and again: “Pater, in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum,” – “Father, into Thy hands I
commend my spirit,” most ardently I pray Thee, save me from a sudden death. Thy hands, O Redeemer! have wholly made and
formed me: ah! suffer not death to take me unawares; give me, I beseech Thee, time for penance; vouchsafe that I may pass from
this life happily in Thy grace, that I may love Thee with my whole heart, and praise and bless Thee forever and ever.
Amen.  Pater Noster, Ave Maria, Gloria Patri

2.  Suppose that a person has committted a mortal sin and in the course of a day in his life he meets with an accident (car wreck, bad fall, etc.) and goes into a coma and never revives.  His mortal sin remains, right?  And being in a state of unconsciousness he cannot seek repentance (or make an act of perfect contrition). This person may be said to have perished and not saved.  However, at this moment we leave the matter of his salvation to the Justice of God, as we cannot judge this situation.  This is another instance of a sudden and unprovided death.

Any thoughts?
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#2
(04-17-2013, 08:55 AM)Vincentius Wrote: Suppose that a person has committted a mortal sin and in the course of a day in his life he meets with an accident (car wreck, bad fall, etc.) and goes into a coma and never revives.   His mortal sin remains, right?  And being in a state of unconsciousness he cannot seek repentance (or make an act of perfect contrition). This person may be said to have perished and not saved.  However, at this moment we leave the matter of his salvation to the Justice of God, as we cannot judge this situation.   This is another instance of a sudden and unprovided death.

Any thoughts? 

We have to reconcile this with the Scriptures:

Is it my will that a sinner should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should be converted from his ways, and live? Ezekiel 18:23

God who wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:4

My thoughts: As a child I was often told that a sudden death is a "bad sign." But sudden deaths are not necessarily "unprovided for." Wasn't St. Thomas Beckett murdered while saying Mass? According to St. Francis de Sales, you don't have to be in the act of a good act, or consciously thinking about God, if lightning strikes and you die suddenly, or if you die peacefully in your sleep. A holy man takes his charity with him.   

As for those who are not quite ready to meet their maker, we musn't forget that God knows that day of their demise... and I believe he provides for them.
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#3
(04-17-2013, 08:55 AM)Vincentius Wrote: Two propostions.

1.  In view of the bombing in Boston, it is fortunate that only three people were killed but a large number were injured.  Those in the proximate vicinity of the bomb were most likely to be the ones in danger of facing death without actually  aware of it.  This we refer to as sudden death.  Bomb goes off and you're right next to it -- boom, you're dead.  The question is, is your death provided for, meaning are you in the state of grace?  The tragedy is for a sudden and unprovided death.  How many are there of us who are not ready to go yet but have not spiritually prepared properly?   I would take that as traditional Catholics, we would assume that we perpetually frequent the Sacramants and the thought of death is always in our minds and we are always prepared to meet our Judge.

2.  Suppose that a person has committted a mortal sin and in the course of a day in his life he meets with an accident (car wreck, bad fall, etc.) and goes into a coma and never revives.   His mortal sin remains, right?  And being in a state of unconsciousness he cannot seek repentance (or make an act of perfect contrition). This person may be said to have perished and not saved.  However, at this moment we leave the matter of his salvation to the Justice of God, as we cannot judge this situation.   This is another instance of a sudden and unprovided death.

Any thoughts?

These two questions form the bread and butter of Redemptorist spirituality and Religious life. Death approaches! Always be ready! Do not leave any unpaid debt with God! Thanks be to God there are traditional Redemptorists because the Last Four Things are just too important to be dealt with in a fuddy-duddy post-VII manner.

Thoughts on question 2 are that if a person goes into a coma with mortal sin on their soul, when they die they go to hell. No time for repentance once you are in a 'vegetable' state. Of course we hope that before he went into a coma he repented, but if he didn't then just like all people who die in a state of mortal sin they are condemned to the eternal fires. I'm not a moral theologian but I've read this same question before and that was the answer (I think). May be wrong.

"It is folly not to think of death.  It is greater folly to think of it, and not prepare for it" - So said St Alphonsus who is one to pray to if you want to die a good, holy death (along with Our Lady and St Joseph of course). The great thing is that St Alphonsus also teaches that it is certain that those who pray are saved, and those who have devotion to Our Lady are saved. The counterfactual is also taught to be certain at least for prayer (i.e. don't pray means you going to hell).

Anyway, may God save me from a sudden death unless I am doing something for Him and am in a state of grace.
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#4
(04-17-2013, 09:47 AM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote:
(04-17-2013, 08:55 AM)Vincentius Wrote: Suppose that a person has committted a mortal sin and in the course of a day in his life he meets with an accident (car wreck, bad fall, etc.) and goes into a coma and never revives.   His mortal sin remains, right?  And being in a state of unconsciousness he cannot seek repentance (or make an act of perfect contrition). This person may be said to have perished and not saved.  However, at this moment we leave the matter of his salvation to the Justice of God, as we cannot judge this situation.   This is another instance of a sudden and unprovided death.

Any thoughts? 

We have to reconcile this with the Scriptures:

Is it my will that a sinner should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should be converted from his ways, and live? Ezekiel 18:23

God who wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:4

My thoughts: As a child I was often told that a sudden death is a "bad sign." But sudden deaths are not necessarily "unprovided for." Wasn't St. Thomas Beckett murdered while saying Mass? According to St. Francis de Sales, you don't have to be in the act of a good act, or consciously thinking about God, if lightning strikes and you die suddenly, or if you die peacefully in your sleep. A holy man takes his charity with him.   

As for those who are not quite ready to meet their maker, we musn't forget that God knows that day of their demise... and I believe he provides for them.

Don't forget that there is such a thing known as "final impenitence."  For this, God does not and will not provide.  Why should He when the person mocks Him and disregards what He has commanded?  Also there is what we consider "presumption of His Mercy."  Final impenitence and presumption that God will grant mercy are two of the sins against the Holy Ghost which cannot be forgiven.  It is for each of us to know the hour and place and always be prepared.  To rely on the providence of God that no matter what He will save is a foolish and presumptuous thing.  Many spend the prime of their lives in doing their will and will think of spending the last years of their lives to do penance not knowing that the thread of their lives can be severed when they least expect it.

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#5
This does not bear exactly on this topic, but do we remember that every day per the old Catechism we should say an Act of Faith ? If we are in that habit, and the Apostles Creed is perfect for that, it reminds us not to forget if we are in mortal sin. In justice, if a practicing Catholic or a person that refuses grace, both die unexpectedly, in mortal sin, I don't believe both are judged the same. I'm not God.

tim
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#6
Vincentius, I agree with you. Final impenitence is hard-heartedness. I believe that God does provide mercy and grace but some will still reject him at the end. That, and presumption of his mercy, are in the same camp. We are warned by Jesus to always be prepared. We can’t let our hearts grow hard. I don’t believe, however, that most sinners are knowingly hostile to God or religion. They are weak in the flesh. I believe they can be saved in the last moment because their hearts are not hard. Perhaps God “takes them” (or allows them to be taken) because he knows they are at that place where they are the most disposed for heaven. I believed that about my sister. Her conversion came at the end of life, sort of like the laborer in the vineyard who arrived at the eleventh hour. She did not die without the sacraments. But you are right, we shouldn’t put it off. We just don’t know about those who die suddenly or in their sleep. I just don’t like the term “unprovided for.” I believe God provides for everyone, and that separation from God is our own choice, not his. 
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#7
Just a note in passing, which Jesus admonishes to watch:


Luke 12
19  "And I will say to my soul: Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years take thy rest; eat, drink, make good cheer."
20  "But God said to him: Thou fool, this night do they require thy soul of thee: and whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?"
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#8
I thought if a person was in danger of death they could receive Last Rites and have all their sins forgiven even if they were unconscious?

If this is not true I have been laboring under a most insidious misapprehension lo these many years.  Not the only one, I'm sure.
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#9
For the faithful soul that unfortunately commits a mortal sin - it is always best to immediately try to make an act of perfect contrition and resolve to get to Confession as soon as possible. At least there is that possibility that the Good Lord gave us the grace of perfect contrition which also removes the sin. Its the best we can do - just assuming "no big deal, Ill go to Confession next weekend" - falls into the sin of presumption and what not.
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#10
This is why it is dangerous to go about uncatechized on the nature of sin.

That being said, sudden death is one of the reasons we pray for the dead. Holy Mother Church in Her wisdom will not name any who may have been damned to Hell. I personally hold out in hope and prayer (i.e. Fatima and Divine Mercy) that the whole world will repent and believe in the Gospel; but even so, if someone reaches final impenitence, Hell is very real. There is Divine Mercy and then there is Divine Justice. Pray for the former to be showered upon the whole world.
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