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Preparing Your Soul for Heaven and Your Legacy for Others


By Kathy Fanger

“The world and its desires pass away, But the one who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:17

At the end of the movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy closes her eyes, taps the heels of her ruby red slippers three times, and repeats these words, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” She yearns to go back home to Kansas. We’ve all had the experience of returning home. Home is where we belong. We have a place at the table, a place to sleep, and a place to be welcomed and embraced with love.

At the Last Supper, Jesus spoke to his disciples of returning “home” to his Father’s house. “I am going to prepare a place for you. Then I will come back to take you with me, that where I am you also may be.” John 14:1-3

In the last three articles, Catholic Cemeteries has shared our mission to assist you with practical and necessary end-of-life planning: Your Catholic Funeral Services and place of rest; a critical Advance Health Care Directive and Estate Plans. Having these end-of-life plans in place is a gift of peace of mind to yourself and your loved ones. Yet there are two even more important pieces:

1. Preparing your soul for heaven
How are you preparing to meet the Lord? Jesus gave us his greatest commandment: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Does your life speak to this every day? Lent offers us an opportunity to return to the Lord – with prayer, fasting, almsgiving to those in need, and being forgiven in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Having a personal relationship with God and having our souls prepared helps us to look with hope to returning to our heavenly home one day.

2. The legacy of how you’ve lived your life
How do you wish to be remembered so that your life can continue to bear fruit in the generations that will follow you? It is often not the huge accomplishments, but rather the manner in which we lived, our words, the small kindnesses, our generosity, compassion and faith that will be remembered. Will others choose to follow your lead? Jesus said, “Whatever you did to the least of my brothers and sisters, you did for me.” Matthew 25:45

So, do let Catholic Cemeteries assist you with the practical end-of-life planning. And do, also, let your Church assist and remind you of preparing your soul for your blessed return to heaven, where “life is changed, not ended.”

For more information on our workshops or other end-of-life planning resources, please contact Kathy Fanger at (650) 428-3730 x 508 or www.ccdsj.org.

Attend one of our workshops:

Spring Open House Estate Planning Seminar
March 24, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemetery
Learn about the benefits of pre-planning your Christian funeral, advance directives and estate planning. Give the gift of peace of mind to yourself and your loved ones by having your plans in place. Please RSVP: (650) 428-3730.

A Time For You – A Retreat Day For Caregivers
April 21, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: TBD
A retreat day focusing upon compassion and care for self while walking with someone who suffers. Learn practical and spiritual support. A sacred time set aside to renew, rejuvenate and replenish in mind, body and spirit. For more information and to register, call (650) 428-3730.

Solace – Soul + Grief
Monthly Drop-in Grief Support Group
March 28, 7 – 9 p.m.
(Fourth Wednesday of each month)
O’Connor Hospital Chapel
2105 Forest Ave., San Jose
Facilitator: Candee Lucas, M.A. Pastoral Ministries
Each month we will use a different scripture as a seed for our sharing, discussion and support. We hope to create a sacred space for you to share your grieving. No RSVP necessary. Free.