On Death: Baron Friedrich von Hugel, ‘Letters to a Niece’

Hour of Our Death: “Religion has never made me happy. Religion has never made me comfy. All deepened life is deepened suffering, deepened dreariness, deepened joy. Suffering and joy. The final note of religion is joy. Suffering teaches; life teaches. Don’t weaken love; never violate it. Love and joy are your way. Be very humble, it’s the only thing. Be always faithful. You will find you would rather lose life itself than this [spiritual] life. Apres tout, the last act in life is devotion — devotion in death. I like that.

“Die without a breath of grievance. Religion makes this possible, men have less the spirit of grievance.

“Drop things; always keep on dropping and dropping. My religion, my illness, suffering, and life have taught me that. Always drop things. Don’t chatter to yourself — you can’t hear God if you do. I would like you to learn from St. Catherine of Genoa the point of always attending to but one thing at a time. This one action or suffering, joy or renunciation, being at that moment the one will of God and the one means of pleasing Him and of attaining true growth in oneself. It is the trait d’union with God. Goethe’s mother, when she was dying, sent down a message to a caller that she could not see her as she was occupied in dying. “I am busy with death.” That’s right. So I hope too to turn to death, busy with that, one thing at a time.” Read in full here.