I'm not sure what made today different. I lead the Rosary prior to Holy Mass, and one faithful person had joined me in the small Eucharistic chapel of our church. It kept getting louder and louder outside the door, and I could tell she was having a hard time hearing me. As we began the fourth decade, suddenly a thought interrupted - a thought that I might not experience what it is like to lose my hearing, I might not get old enough, I might die before "old age". I had to stop to recollect myself, as unbidden and sudden tears invaded my prayer.
As we progressed through the Liturgy of the Eucharist, this thought returned as I considered that this could be the last Eucharist I ever received. . . this was the closest I could get to Heaven here on earth . . the closest union between me and my Lord. There were tears in my eyes and on my face as I received. All I could see was Him. My focus was sharpened and singular. My prayer, to grant me the grace I need so that I may be with Him. "Stay with me, Lord. . . Death approaches. . . I fear the darkness. . ."
To the best of my knowledge I am not under threat of imminent death. I don't know why this thought came to me. But I am incredibly grateful for the grace, at that moment, to have been able to focus so entirely on the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist; to see only His Presence as everything else faded out in that brief moment; to realize that this life is transitory and I need to turn myself completely over to Him so that I will find myself finally united with Him for all eternity.