St. Alphonsus Liguori, the Prince of Moral Theologians, was one of the greatest preachers in Church history. A religious founder, consummate theologian, and holy man of God, Saint Alphonsus never fails to utter a stirring word that draws out a lively penitence and redoubled dedication to the work of God from his audience. Here, in Preparation for Death: A Popular Abridgment, is a shortened form of his formidable work on the last moments of life and our duty to prepare for it while we yet have time.
Resonating throughout is the profound sense of sin and its awfulness that St. Alphonsus undoubtedly felt and from which he longs to save his flock. He dwells repeatedly on the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Hell, and Heaven, bringing the reader to consider his own eternal destiny. Above all, St. Alphonsus's message is permeated by what seems a prolonged meditation on the words of Our Lord: "What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?" The goods of the world are fleeting, and to the Christian, they are even a burden—as St. Paul would say, "so much trash"—because "there is only one thing that is necessary." Topics include:
- The certainty of death,
- The uncertainty of the time,
- The death of the sinner,
- The death of the negligent Christian,
- The death of the just,
- The habit of sin,
- Delusions of the Devil,
- Particular and General Judgments,
- The pains of Hell and its eternity,
- The remorse of the damned
- And more to stir the soul to repentance . . .
Though St. Alphonsus can be a terrible and grave man to hear, it is only from the most unique tenderness and subtlety of his heart that such words can spring. For "out of the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaketh," and St. Alphonsus's heart was only filled to the brim with genuine desire for innocence and purity of heart in all his spiritual children. It is worth noting he never refused absolution to anyone.
There is no better teacher on moral theology to ever grace the Church than St. Alphonsus Liguori. Let Preparation for Death show you why.
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