Litany for a Good Death

There is a prayer that you should add to your inventory of prayers, especially during November. This one is courtesy of Joseph Karl Publishing’s Blog and is entitled Litany For A Good Death.

Litany For A Good Death

O Lord Jesus, God of goodness and Father of mercies,
I draw nigh to Thee with a contrite and humble heart;
to Thee I recommend the last hour of my life,
and that judgment which awaits me afterwards,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my feet, benumbed with death,
shall admonish me that my course in this life is drawing to an end,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my hands, cold and trembling,
shall no longer be able to clasp the Crucifix,
and shall let it fall against my will on my bed of suffering,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my eyes, dim with trouble at the approach of death,
shall fix themselves on Thee, my last and only support,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my lips, cold and trembling,
shall pronounce for the last time Thy adorable Name,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my face, pale and livid,
shall inspire the beholders with pity and dismay;
when my hair, bathed in the sweat of death,
and stiffening on my head,
shall forebode my approaching end,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my ears, soon to be for ever shut to the discourse of men,
shall be open to the irrevocable decree which is to fix my doom for all eternity,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my imagination, agitated by dreadful specters,
shall be sunk in an abyss of anguish; when my soul,
affrighted with the sight of my iniquities and the terrors of Thy judgment,
shall have to fight against the Angel of darkness,
who will endeavor to conceal from my eyes Thy mercies,
and to plunge me into despair,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my poor heart, oppressed with suffering
and exhausted by its continual struggles with the enemies of its salvation,
shall feel the pangs of death,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When the last tear, the forerunner of my dissolution,
shall drop from my eyes, receive it as a sacrifice of expiation for my sins;
grant that I may expire the victim of penance;
and then in that dreadful moment,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my friends and relations, encircling my bed,
shall be moved with compassion for me,
and invoke Thy clemency in my behalf,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When I shall have lost the use of my senses;
when the world shall have vanished from my sight;
when my agonizing soul shall feel the sorrows of death,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my soul, trembling on my lips,
shall bid adieu to the world, and leave my body lifeless, pale and cold,
receive this separation as a homage in that last moment of my mortal life,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When at length my soul, admitted to Thy presence,
shall first behold the splendor of Thy Majesty,
reject it not, but receive me into Thy bosom,
where I may for ever sing Thy praises,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

Let us Pray.

O God, Who hast doomed all men to die,
but hast concealed from all the hour of their death,
grant that I may pass my days in the practice of holiness and justice,
and that I may be made worthy to quit this world,
in the embrace of Thy love.
Through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who liveth and reigneth with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

NOTE: This is a “retropost,” a post from an old blog I wrote on “The Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven (& Purgatory) and Hell” that I shuttered a few years ago. Individual posts are being transferred to either In Exile or Sober Catholic, whichever seems appropriate. Some are backdated, others postdated, in case you’re confused as to why you never saw a particular post if you’re a diligent reader. The process should be completed by early 2022.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

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