When a jet airliner pulls out of its parking bay with a load of passengers it moves onto one of the airport’s feeder runways and taxis slowly toward the active runway. The plane continues to move slowly until it is on the active runway. Once the plane is on the active runway its passengers know that there is not much time. Everything has to be just so, seat belts on, seats full upright, and trays folded. Then the pilot pushes the throttle forward and the plane quickly gathers speed for the takeoff.
Some of us spend our lives preparing for heaven, others wait until the last minute. People sometimes believe they can put off holiness until the last hours. Our preparations for the journey to heaven are a lot like that. For a long time it feels as if we have plenty of time. Then, as the plane starts picking up speed, we suddenly see that there is not much time. If they’re not accustomed to the whole armor of God they won’t be able to take it in and may even subconsciously try to resist it. Get started now.
We can start by stipending Masses. For many years my beautiful Irene and I stipended a Mass to be said for each of us every month with the intention of opening the gates of heaven for us. Everyone else in our family got one Mass a year, and still do. After Irene passed in 2011 I continued stipending the monthly Masses for both of us. I’m as certain as a Catholic can be that she’s in heaven now, but after I’m gone my last will and testament calls for leaving money to the parish to stipend monthly Masses for both of us for many years to come, just in case we need them.
We can also start now by praying every day to Rabbi Yeshua for protection against all temptation, particularly temptation by demons, in the last days. We also pray ardently for the grace of final perseverance.
Our single purpose in putting on the whole armor of God is to get very near to Rabbi Yeshua as we pass into eternity so that we might remain very near to him in eternal life.
If we live within a devoutly Catholic parish community we’ll have plenty of friends willing to help us put on the whole armor of God.
We try to arrange in our last few days for a priest to bring us Holy Communion and offer daily Confession, in case a demon sneaks in an evil thought. Many people on the active runway aren’t able to actually make a good Confession, but Rabbi Yeshua will honor whatever we can do.
If we can’t get a priest to bring us Holy Communion every day we at least ask for an extraordinary minister.
We also try to arrange for a devout Catholic to be with us around the clock. Several family members or friends can take turns. We can ask our companion to pray a Rosary each morning, afternoon, early evening and before bedtime, so we get all 20 mysteries every day. We pray with our companion if we can, but if it’s difficult we just do the best we can. Rabbi Yeshua will honor and appreciate the effort. Around the clock is important because Satan sometimes tempts us at night when we too groggy to react well, but if we can’t get around the clock we ask for at least every day.
It’s beautiful and comforting to have Gregorian Chant music playing quietly in the room around the clock, very low, barely audible in the background. There are many recordings, and there are also prayers. We can keep in our room two or three copies of the St. Michael Hymnal, so we can sing or at least hear holy songs with our companions. If our companion goes out of the room to have supper we can pick a familiar song from the St. Michael Hymnal that we love and try to sing it, at least mentally, to stay focused on Rabbi Yeshua and Blessed Virgin Mary.
We ask for a crucifix to be put around our neck, and hold it to our heart especially as we pass over.
Obviously we have to adapt our whole armor of God to what’s available to us, and to our needs and preferences.
It’s healthy for us to be concerned, in proportion, about end-of-life temptations. It’s very stressful for a demon to be present before the whole armor of God, and makes him want to flee. Demons differ greatly from one to another, much more than we humans do. Some are strong, others are weak, some are clever, others not so much, etc. The demons try to hold on and stay as long as they can, but in getting as close as we can to Rabbi Yeshua we also hope to stress the demon so much that the demon will flee the scene.
The plane builds up speed on the active runway until the pilot lifts the front wheels. When we leave the earth time is up. We’re on our way to eternal life.