Words of a Dying Man for Lent

A great personal reflection on Mr. Bones from the late Mario Palmaro, Italian author and journalist and, yes, Triddywacker:

The first thing that shakes you up about sickness is that it hits us without any warning and at a time we do not decide. We are at the mercy of events, and we can do nothing but accept them. Grave illness obliges one to become aware that we are truly mortal; even if death is the most certain thing in the world, modern man tends to live as if he should never die.

 In sickness you understand for the first time that life on earth is but a breath, you recognize with bitterness that you have not made it that masterpiece of holiness God had wanted. You experience a profound nostalgia for the good that you could have done and for the bad that you could have avoided. You look at the Crucifix and you understand that this is the heart of the Faith; without sacrifice Catholicism wouldn’t exist. Then you thank God for having made you a Catholic, a “little ” Catholic, a sinner, but who has an attentive Mother in the Church. So, grave sickness is a time of grace, but often the vices and miseries that have accompanied us in life remain, or even increase [during it]. It is as if the agony has already begun, and there is a battle going on for the destiny of my soul, because nobody can be sure of their own salvation.


  1. lickona's lacunae says

    A great reading for anyone who has forgotten that faith is a great gift. Death is with us always, even unto the end of the world. It’s great to believe that Christ is there, too.

  2. “a profound nostalgia for the good you could have done” Man. I may have to steal this.


  3. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

    This has the knell of truth. Thank you, JOB. May the Lord grant us the grit to carry on that ‘ancient duel’, and may Mr Palmaro find his place in the celestial liturgy.

    Also, ‘Mr. Bones’ is my new favorite euphemism.

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