In Baltimore Catechism II, students preparing for Confirmation (ages 8+) are treated to many excellent lessons. One such lesson is that which teaches them about the history and meaning of the “Hail Mary”.
One sobering lesson explains to them why we ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray for us “at the hour of our death”.
First, we learn of God’s mercy in forgiving our sins:
“No matter how bad we have been during our lives, if God gives us the grace to die in His friendship, we shall be His friends forever.”
Next, we learn of the danger of turning away from God:
“On the other hand, no matter how good we may have been for a part of our lives, if we become bad before death, and die in that state, we shall be separated from God forever, and be condemned to eternal punishment.”
We are then warned of the danger of presumption:
“It would be wrong, therefore, to live in sin, with a promise that we shall die well, for God may not give us the grace or opportunity to repent, and we may die in sin if we have lived in sin.”
Lastly, we are warned of the last battle we must face, at the hour of our death:
“Besides this, the devil knows how much depends upon the state in which we die, and so he perhaps will tempt us more at death than at any other time; for if we yield to him and die in sin, we shall be with him forever–it is his last chance to secure our souls.”
These are sobering words. Fortunately, we have the benefit of learning from the Church how we can prepare for “the hour of our death”–by praying the “Hail Mary” daily. We learn that the Virgin Mary is especially concerned for us in this last struggle, and promises to help us by her prayers “at the hour of our death”.
The content of the Baltimore Catechism II course is extremely helpful, and is most strongly recommended for all Catholic students. Our online course is self-paced and includes all necessary study materials, online assessments, grades, records and support. To enroll, visit the Academy Study Center and get started today.
William C. Michael, Headmaster
Classical Liberal Arts Academy