WHEN DEATH COMES.
New Zealand Tablet, Rōrahi XXV, Putanga 52, 29 Paengawhāwhā 1898, Page 24
WHEN DEATH COMES.
Some day, soon or late, every household is visited by that mysterious messenger of God who cannot be denied entrance, and who never goes forth alone. He m>y give long warning of his approach. The multiplying infirmities of old age in some dear one may tell us that he is an expected, yes, even a fondly desired ransomer. Or a deadly, tut slowly progressing disease may herald him. Or he may give but a brief warning ; or none — stealing upon us in slumber, like a thief in the night, as the Scripture puts it. We all know the uncertainty of life from the teaching of our earliest childhood ; and, if we have lived long enough, from the sad object lessons of bereavement. We all know what we owe to ourselves in the face of the awful certainty — whose time alone is uncertain. But we owe something to those who depend upon us, too. When sickness comes, and the physician tells us there is danger, let us not, in our anxiety for the mortal life, forget the immortal soul. It is a cruel and sinful thing to conceal from the patient his condition, or to defer sending for the priest till he is speechless, or mayhap senseless. "We were so hopeful, we feared giving a fright that would shatter the last chance of recovery." Let one physician, a Protestant at that, testify for many of his profession. " As soon as there is danger, I prefer my patient should know it. We have a great advantage with the Catholic, who ordinal iiy receives the word of danger calmly and sets his spiritual affairs in order at once when his condition becomes critical. The peace of mind resultiug, trebles his chances for recovery. A physician's opportunities diminish with the patient whose disease is aggravated by distress of mind and terror of death." In grave illness let the priest be notified early, that the preparation for death be not unduly hurried. Unless the patient be in imminent danger of death, it is better for him to make his confession at the priest's first visit, and receive Holy Communion at the second. But where the parish is large, the priests few, and sickness prevalent, the priest may decide differently. Every good Catholic has an indulgenced crucifix in the house, and holy water, and blessed candles always at hand. Every good Catholic knows that for the administration of the last sacraments, a table should be prepared in the sick room, covered with a neat and spotlessly clean white cloth, having thereupon at least one candlestick, holding a blessed candle lighted, a vase of holy water, a glass of pure fresh water, and a spoon. The watchers, having made the patient tidy and comfortable, retire from the sick chamber while the priest is hearing the patient's confession ; but return lor the administration of Holy Communion and Extreme Unction. No member of the household who cannot exercise self-control should be permitted to be present at this solemn time. During the last days or hours, especially where frequent visits from the priest are impossible, a devout and sensible relative or friend should be as much as possible with the dying ; praying, encouraging, comforting with considerations of God's mercy ; aud excluding all worldly distractions. Crucifix, rosary, and holy water should be within the patient's reach ; acts of contrition and confidence suggested ; and when the end is near, the beautiful recommendation of the departing soul should be read ; and a loving relative or friend should clasp the crucifix and lighted candle in the hand of thd dying, and remain in fervent pjayer till it is beyoni a doubt that the spirit has returned to Him who gave it. — The People.
The history of wagers is an extraordinary one, but few incidents can excel the following for its oddity and originality :—ln: — In 1821 a Mr. Huddy, the postmaster of Lismore, in the 97th year of his age, travelled for a wager from Lismore to Fermoy in a Dungarvan oyater tub, drawn by a pig. a badger, two cats, a goose, and a hedgehog, with a large red nightcap on his head, a pig-drover's whip in I one hand and in the other a common cow's horn. The latter he blew to encourage his team, and to give notice of this new system of posting. According to the Westminster Gazette the number of Jewish soldiers in the Imperial forces has shown a marked increase in the last few years. It is interesting to note that there are 2(5 Jewish officers on the active list of Her Majesty's army, when the proportion to population should be a shade under 20, and in the auxiliary forces there are 52 Jewish officers instead of the proportionate quota of 31 ,