The Last Struggle

I have read a couple of times now that, when a man is about to die, a great struggle takes place between the demon who wants him to die in despair or unbelief, and the angel who wants him to die at peace with the Lord.

This never fails to shock me, as in my simple mind, on the deathbed it should be already pretty clear who are those who will win the battle and it is, therefore, mildly terrifying to know that a last supreme effort will be put in place, when I am in my last minutes, to try to get me eternally damned. This gets worse if I think of those people I loved, and who died in a state of, to put it very charitably, very precarious faith.

It does not even have to be on the deathbed. If I am, say, predestined to die in a car accident, does hell get a heads up about the exact date and time? Will there be, then, a last ditch attempt to deprive me of my faith just there, in my car, minutes before the fatal impact and sudden death? Without a confessor around, without even me being aware that my eternal salvation is being decided right there, as I exit the motorway and head towards the truck that, losing control, will smash again my car without a warning? And if this will be attempted with me – who have, by God’s grace, a very strong faith and never for a second, in my now long life, was deprived of it – what will happen to those many, many people whose faith – of that, I am pretty certain – is not as solid as mine?

I don’t know how this is, and I only know that hell is allowing to know, of the future, only what heaven permits. Still, it seems to me that the answer to the danger is twofold: 1. Work every day on increasing your faith, and 2. Never take for granted that you will see tomorrow.

I think of it myself as a kind of long-term investment. If I make, every day, a deposit of prayer and faith in my little Salvation Investment Account, the investments will add little by little, and then start producing dividends, and increase in value as God’s grace multiplies my deposits with the passing of times.

In this way, when my day comes – whether I see it approaching, or not – I will have a strategic reserve that can be expended in the last battle.

But really, I would so much love that there would be no battle; I would love that death would take me with or without warning, but at peace with the Lord, without struggles and without doubts; then faith is now my most prized possession, my greatest pride (in the good sense) and my greatest help amid the challenges of life. Some people die in their sleep. J.P. Morgan did. Was his salvation investment account rich enough?

Still, the more prepared I am, and the fatter my Salvation Investment Account, the more likely is it that things will go just fine. God is not a capricious master, allowing one to go to his damnation just for dying “at the wrong moment”. He values the deposits in the Salvation Investment Account, and will hopefully help his investor not to deplete it.

Pray every day. In fact, pray the Rosary every day. You never know when your faith is attacked, so make it more and more impervious to attack.

Posted on December 8, 2022, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Mundabor, a beautiful reflection. Thank you. I have been meaning to send a note of my thanks for your very lucid, faithful and entertaining writing on this blog. May God bless you abundantly.

    As an aside, one of my favorite images of Our Lady.

  2. I often ponder that idea as well. We have heard that people die as they live, which might mean dying with the same prayers on your lips or in your mind that you pray daily or when a crisis occurs. I suppose that doesn’t preclude a battle. I also don’t expect being whisked off to heaven instantly; I’m hoping for a not-too-long Purgatory.
    In my line of work I have witnessed several deaths without witnessing an apparent struggle. Again, that doesn’t mean there is not a struggle. I imagine that, to be on the safe side, one must prepare for a last-minute battle.

  3. Alexander Bach Borius

    “I had no agony as you know, but I can tell you this, that at the last decisive moment, the devil lets loose all his rage against the one that is dying. God permits souls to go through these last trials in order to increase their merits. Souls that are strong and generous, in order that they may have a more glorious place in Heaven, have often had, at the end of their lives and in the moment of death, terrible combats with the angel of darkness. You have been witness to this. But they always come out victorious. God never allows a soul that has been devoted to Him during life to perish at the last moment. Those souls who have loved the Blessed Virgin and invoked her all their lives receive from her many graces in their last struggles. It is the same for those who have been really devout to St. Joseph, to St. Michael, or to any of the saints. I have already said one is glad to have an intercessor with God in those dreadful moments. Some souls die quite tranquilly without experiencing any of those trials. God has His designs in everything. He does or permits all for the good of each particular soul. ”

    From a book called an “An unpublished manuscript on Purgatory”, by Sister Mary of the Cross.

    I would also advise everyone to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy every day:

    https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/pray-the-chaplet

    Some promises from St Faustina Kowalska’s diary:

    “I promise that the soul that will venerate this image (of Divine Mercy) will not perish. I also promise victory over (its) enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory.” (Diary, 48)

    “The souls that say this chaplet will be embraced by My mercy during their lifetime and especially at the hour of their death.” (Diary, 754)

    “When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their souls with peace, and the hour of their death will be a happy one.” (Diary, 1541)

    “When they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as a just Judge but as a merciful Savior.” (Diary, 1541)

    “Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death.” (Diary, 687)

    “Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy…I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy.” (Diary, 687)

    Oh, and don’t forget Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast day on which one can obtain full pardon for ALL punishment, including the temporal punishment that leads to Purgatory:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_Mercy_Sunday

    Viva Cristo Rey!

  4. jacintapichimihuida

    Thank you, Mundabor. Ironically, the struggle at death for my soul has been in my mind. You certainly provided clarity on the best steps to take.

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