Now, what is so terrible about death is not its certainty, but that which is uncertain in connection with it. For as it is sure and certain that we must die, so it is doubtful and uncertain when, where, and how we shall die.
When shall you die?
In regard to this you can never be secure, even for a single moment. Today you are alive, but it is absolutely uncertain whether you will be alive tomorrow, the day after, in a week, a month, or a year. While you are reading this you are full of the joy and love of life, but who can give surety that this very evening, or tonight, or even the next minute, you may not drop down dead? I repeat my question: who can give surety that it will not so happen?
Some years ago, in a little village in Bavaria, a few peasants were sitting together in a tavern. Over a glass of beer they discussed one thing and another, until at length the conversation turned upon the uncertainty of the time of death. “Certainly,” said a stalwart peasant in the prime of life, “certainly no one can know before hand the precise moment, but of this I am assured: today, at least I shall not die.”
After a time he got up, and prepared to go home, he wished everyone good night and a pleasant meeting on the morrow. Then he left the room, and a few minutes later his companions lifted him up – a corpse! In the dark he had fallen down the steep steps before the door, and broke his neck.
Fr. F. X. Lasance
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