Something not so light for this Tuesday: here is a large sign I saw this past summer in the Cathedral in Morelia, Mexico. It admonishes all who read it to consider their eternal destiny and prepare themselves accordingly.
After the photo, my translation. Since the photo came out so blurry due to the poor lighting conditions, I could not read every single word in the “fine print” at the bottom of the sign, so I had to guess on a few words as I translated it. The Spanish is a bit old-timey and there are also typographical errors. I have maintained CAPITAL LETTERS and italics, and where they switched to red ink I indicated it in bold in my translation below.
GOD SEES YOUR HEART.
CALL TO MIND YOUR FINAL END AND YOU WILL NOT SIN AGAIN.
SINFUL MEN, YOU MUST DIE.
Be always ready; for you will die when you least expect it; and the fatal moment of your death will decide your ETERNITY.
CONSIDER, MEDITATE UPON, THINK ABOUT THESE TERRIBLE WORDS:
O ETERNITY! You alone are worthy of our thoughts and cares!
The one thing forgotten and spurned by the greater part of men!
Who will give my eyes an abundant FOUNTAIN of tears so that I can mourn such a disastrous BLINDNESS!
O ineffable ETERNITY! O unfathomable ETERNITY!
Who will measure your profundity! Who will plumb your depths!
Millions of centuries, repeated as many times as there are atoms in this vast universe, are nothing in comparison with ETERNITY.
After the passing of these countless centuries there would still remain an entire ETERNITY.
Only ETERNITY will never pass.
Happy the just soul that will reign eternally with GOD in the celestial mansion of Paradise!
What frightful despair for the soul of the condemned, which burns eternally with the Demons in the devouring flames of HELL!
Placed for a short time between these two ETERNITIES, one or the other will be our inheritance.
For as long as GOD is GOD, you will either glorify his Mercy in the heavenly Jerusalem, or his Justice in ponds of sulfur and fire, where there will be nothing more than tears and grinding of teeth.
To lose God – to lose a HAPPY ETERNITY for a shameful pleasure! What craziness – to be impervious to this loss! What stupidity!
Unfortunate the man who does not think about the importance of this loss, except when he experiences it and it is already irremediable.
WATCH THEREFORE, AND PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.
DO NOT FORGET THE FOUR LAST THINGS THAT PRESENT THEMSELVES BEFORE OUR EYES.
DEATH, which is the gate of ETERNITY.
JUDGMENT, which will decide our ETERNITY.
HELL, which is the wretched abode of ETERNITY.
HEAVEN, which is the mansion of a happy ETERNITY.
Work with fear and trembling about the great business, the only business of your ETERNITY.
The figure of this world passes, death draws near, Eternity awaits you.
Happy you if, giving it priority over all other things, you think about ETERNITY, you suffer for ETERNITY, you fight for ETERNITY, so as to reign for ever in a happy ETERNITY!
It is now time, O ungrateful soul, to return to GOD: if the Blood of Jesus Christ had not held back the avenging arm of his Father, where would you be? One single mortal sin would be sufficient for you to be lost eternally; hasten to pacify heaven’s anger by means of penance. The past no longer exists; the future is at your discretion; the present is nothing more than a moment that was given to you to serve God and gain ETERNITY. Understand well the force of these words: ONE GOD! ONE MOMENT! ONE ETERNITY! A GOD who sees you; a moment that escapes you; an ETERNITY that awaits you; a GOD whom you serve so badly; a moment of which you make so little good use; an ETERNITY that you risk so easily. O my GOD! Father of mercy! I sincerely repent of having offended you; I believe in you; I believe in ETERNITY; I hope in you, and in a happy ETERNITY from you. I desire to love you for all ETERNITY. Burn, wound, and prune; do not pardon me now, as long as you pardon me in ETERNITY. Grant me, almighty and infinitely good GOD, the graces that I need to serve you well during my life so that I can possess you in ETERNITY.