This definitely is not a matter of having a dark or gloomy outlook in life. On the contrary, this is what would make us truly realistic, able to have a wholistic picture of our life and knowing what life’s true character and purpose are.
We are reminded of this truth of our Christian faith in that gospel episode where Christ told his disciples to be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open the door immediately when he comes and knocks. (cfr. Lk 12,35-38)
“Should he (the master) come in the second or third watch and find them (the servants) prepared in this way, blessed are those servants,” Christ told his disciples.
That gospel episode somehow tells us that our life here on earth is not our definitive life. Our definitive life is an eternal one due to our spiritual nature that is poised for a supernatural life, or a life with God forever since we are his image and likeness, meant to share in his life and nature.
Our life here on earth is just a test to see if what God wants us to be is also what we ourselves would want to be. It’s a test to see if we want to be with God or simply to be by ourselves. God gave us a clear commandment about what we ought to do in this life.
In fact, the first mandate God gave man through our first parents was to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.” (Gen 1,28) In other words, everything that we do here in this life is supposed to be done in obedience to this original divine mandate. There is nothing in our life that ought to be considered as outside this duty to follow this mandate.
And so, we just have to be always vigilant and prepared to meet God when he finally calls us in our death. There will be judgment to see if we have followed his will all throughout our life.
Death is a crucial point in our life, because our spiritual condition at that moment would determine our eternal destiny. And so, it would be most advisable that we overcome whatever fear or awkwardness we may have with respect to having an abiding consideration of the possibility of death at any moment of our life.
As said earlier, it is not to have a dark or gloomy outlook in life. Rather, that abiding consideration of death would truly help us not to lose focus on what is truly essential and necessary in life. We know that we have that notorious tendency to get entangled with the non-essentials in life.
Thus, the daily practice of examination of conscience at the end of the day is most advisable since it gives us the time to check whether we are still on the right path or not. This practice means that our spiritual and moral life is in a state of constant struggle, in a continuing warfare, since we meet the forces of good and evil in every step of our daily affairs.
The situations and predicaments can be big or small, extraordinary or common, but we always find ourselves in situations of making choices and decisions. We have to continually deal with our weaknesses and temptations, not to mention sins, on the one hand, and the need to reach our proper and ultimate end, God, on the other.*