Updated: Jan 27, 2021
During our final temptation we are not alone – but surrounded by the angels and the saints.
My beautiful dear Aunt Farida is extremely ill and near death. Today – as they were last night, and as they will be in the days to come – my prayers are for her – to strengthen her in this, her final battle. She is unconscious and at peace – but she fights.
That word – fighting – is apt.
My father always told me – and I believe him – that the final breath we breathe in this lifetime will be the hardest breath of all, no matter how it is that we breathe our last.
For in that final breath we breathe, the final battle in the warfare of our souls takes place.
We are children of God – children of an eternal, immortal, invincible and infinitely loving Father. We have nothing to fear. Life – real life as in eternal life – really is a fairy tale, where GOOD triumphs over EVIL. In saying that and revealing the ultimate ending of the world as GOOD, there is no need for me to provide you with a “spoiler alert”, because there really never was any cause for confusion – God is all powerful, the evil one is not! Therefore, God wins. ALWAYS!
And yet, the guaranteed victory of God does not negate the impact of the spiritual warfare that takes place in the lives of each one of us.
Like all bloody battles, this spiritual battle is real and at times its reality is frightening, confronting and overwhelming.
Watching a loved one endure very difficult moments, or even being a witness to their dying or death confronts us because when we watch that battle in another – even if we are yet to understand what it is or how it plays out – it is a foretaste of our own battle.
For we are never far from the frontline itself.
Though we are tempted throughout our lives, rarely is the temptation openly diabolical. The Lazy One has little need to exert himself. We humans are already so corrupted and weakened by Original Sin that it only takes a small white lie carried on the air in our direction to persuade us to change course – to detour along the wider easier path, away from the narrow road to Calvary.
And yet, that final temptation – when time is scarce and the Evil One has one last chance to ensure that we too, like him, are alone – that is when the battle becomes bloody in a manner that most of us will be unable to convey as we become consumed by the fight.
While we are weak and distressed, the serpent works to confound us. He whispers lies into our ears as he did in the Garden of Eden, and like Eve, many of us listen to him. And yet, many do not – for we are not alone.
In the hospital, my cousins and uncle keep vigil beside Farida’s bed. She sleeps. Watching from the outside it appears she is alone except for the other souls keeping watch in the room with her.
And yet, of course we are never alone.
She is surrounded by all the angels and saints. Your prayers and mine join with theirs in the Communion of Saints to ensure that they are surrounded by a halo of grace. In dying, though we are tempted – we are NEVER alone.
Just as Christ was surrounded by the angels during His greatest temptations – in the desert during the forty days, in the Garden of Gethsemane, on the Cross – so too are we. This is so, though we – unlike Christ – are NOT worthy!
For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son as the PERFECT SACRIFICE – the perfect Priest, Altar and Offering – and as the perfect sacrifice, He lays down His life for us. A death for a life.
So that with each death hereafter – there is only life.
What greater miracle could there be than that?
For with prayers for Farida we stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.