Sometimes we might lose track of what we are living here and now in terms of our faith and relationship with God. We get distracted and too busy maybe. Maybe we get discouraged or lulled into comfortable living. I had an experience recently as I worked as a chaplain with hospice that really awakened me.
We had been visiting an elderly woman in a nursing home. She was maintaining but moving closer to death. Often she struggled with some physical discomfort that we were trying to manage but spiritually she was amazing. Yes, she had some fear of the unknown that death is. None of here on Earth have fully encountered death, short of Jesus. Her story was amazing too. She had been intentional in her relationship with God for a long time and had served her family and her parish faithfully for many years, being a devoted mother and a sacristan and other ministries for many years. This day we came and she was alive, comfortable but unresponsive. We prayed at her bedside telling her that God was with her and that He was waiting for her. As I prayed for her, God gave me a glimpse of her life from His eyes. He showed me the radiant fruits of her life that glimmered in the Heavenly City of God. All those little sacrifices she made to attend to others, all those minutes of remaining faithful to God and His providence when on a human level she could have fallen back in discouragement. Nothing was lost with the Lord gathering each moment as a radiant jewel in His hands. I told her that God was pleased with her and that a crown of glory was awaiting her. She died 30 minutes later with the aids from the care center at her side.
Now, God knows what each of us needs to fully join Him in Heaven. Purgatory is a movement of God’s grace to assist us greater openness to the radiant reality of Heaven. I know that God was gracing me to witness the fruits of this humble woman’s life. We want to learn from her how to put one foot in front of the other to love God in the midst of the simple human choices and experiences that await us today!
In the space of a foot print, what is God asking from you in this moment. A crown of heavenly glory in the love of Christ can await each of us! ~ Mary