What is a diary? A book in which you write down what you do each day, or what you intend to do. Some people keep a diary and write things in it like this: "Be sure to go to the dentist tomorrow," and so on.
A man who died some years ago (not in this parish) used to keep a diary. I have it here. To read a page of it is a sermon in itself. Here it is:
- Monday, January 1, 1934. I have just made a New Year's resolution to go to confession and set my soul at peace with the Lord. I have been in sin too long as it is.
- Sunday, January 7, 1934. I really must go to confession. I will do it soon.
- Sunday, January 14, 1934. I have delayed long enough. I will go to confession before the month is out.
- Sunday, January 21, 1934. I have made up my mind to go to confession before the end of the week — and I mean it. (These last four words are underlined.)
- Wednesday, January 24, 1934. My conscience won't let me rest. I will go to confession on Saturday. I will leave the house a little earlier before I go to the movies.
- Friday, January 26, 1934. Tomorrow I will go to confession.
Then there is a little note written by someone else, in the margin, "Mr. So and So died on Friday."
The lesson in that story should be an easy one for you to tell me. Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today. . . . Excellent. You hit it on the nose that time.
The first of the four last things is death. Death means just that our bodies die. Our souls live on. That is why we should not be as foolish as the man in the story. We must always be prepared for death.
"Mr. Meant-to had a comrade, And his name was Didn't Do;
Have you ever chanced to meet them?
Did they ever call on you?
These two fellows live together
In the house of Never Win.
And I'm told that it is haunted
By the ghost of Might-have-been." *
"If thou shalt not watch; I will come to thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know at what hour I shall come to thee."
Prepare for death on the day before you die. Perhaps you may die tomorrow. Then prepare for death today.
* Anonymous, Liguorian, August, 1919.
Source: Heavenwords, Imprimatur 1941