Let us also go up in order to die with Jesus. To die as He died, to die with Him, that is what we seek to learn in the school of the Cross. Let us not forget the lesson we have learned today, but let us rather educate ourselves further and strive to make progress in the ars moriendi, the art of dying, which our forefathers esteemed so highly. No doubt we are all prepared to do so. But perhaps there are some among us who think: “That was a pious, useful instruction; true, it is wholesome to think of death and there is nothing better than to die as Christ died; I shall make a note of it and recall it when I am older or if I should become seriously ill.”
No matter how seemingly reasonable that sounds, it is by no means the correct lesson to be drawn from our meditation. We have realized the necessity of being prepared for death. At what age does it begin? To this question there is but one answer for everybody: Today. Whether you are twelve or twenty, or thirty or fifty, or seventy years of age, Memento mori applies to you and to everybody. For among the fifty millions who die each year, the one hundred and fifty thousand who die each day, the six thousand claimed by death each hour, there are children and youths, middle-aged and old men and women. No age is immune against death. Let us all, therefore, young and old, today on Golgotha’s heights and during our visits to the holy sepulchres in various churches, set our hearts in order and keep them prepared until death calls.
And let us not step down from Golgotha without having commended the hour of our death to the Mother, whose comforting presence even the Saviour did not wish to forego in the hours of His agony; whom He named and ordained on Golgotha, by His blood and His word, as the Mother of the dying.
This prayer comes with a partial indulgence if said by any faithful person during normal conditions but if said by a dying person it comes with a plenary indulgence.
Let us pray to Mary as did our pious forefathers:
When we lie in mortal anguish,
Mary, Queen, our terror vanquish;
Mother, stand by us in death,
Virgin, bless our dying breath. Amen.
O Lord my God, I now, at this moment, readily and willingly accept at Your hands whatever kind of death it may please You to send me, will all its pains, penalties and sorrows. Amen