“All grace flows from mercy, and the last hour abounds with mercy for us. Let no-one doubt concerning the goodness of God; even if a person’s sins were as dark as night, God’s mercy is stronger than our misery. One thing alone is necessary; that the sinner set ajar the door of his heart, be it ever so little, to let in a ray of God’s merciful grace, and then God will do the rest.”

(Diary, para.1507)

St Faustina Kowalska

God does not condemn souls to Hell; we do that ourselves by means of the free choices we make in life and up till the moment of death. Until that final moment, we can choose between good and evil, between self and God, between eternal life or it’s alternative. At the moment of death, our ability to choose ends and thereafter, we are judged according to the choices we have made and the way we have lived. That judgement is irrevocable and it determines our fate throughout all of eternity.

Until the passing of that final moment, the grace of God will continue to seek us out, to await a response, to invite us to open our hearts to the Lord; we are not compelled to do so, for the Lord will always respect our free choice. But the invitation to merciful grace is always there, and all that is necessary, as Saint Faustina notes above, is that we are open to it – even to the smallest degree. Then, that merciful grace is able to act within us, even as death approaches swiftly.

The saddest fate for any person is that their heart remains firmly closed to this divine grace, until death has occurred. Then, that soul has decided it’s own fate and all hope has gone.

In our prayers today, let us remember those souls approaching death, particularly those who are least prepared. May they trust in the Lord and be open to the action of His merciful grace.