"In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin." (Ecclesiasticus, 7:40)1
In his admirable book The Confessions Saint Augustine narrates his famous conversation with his mother, Saint Monica, in Ostia, the port of ancient Rome, shortly before she died.
In an inimitable language of literary beauty and elevation, he tells how mother and son, - one already in the fullness of sanctity, the other seized by that ideal - were being led by the desire for eternal things as they leaned against the window of their room at an inn and contemplated the approach of evening.
Away from the crowds, we strived, after the fatigues of a long journey, to recover our strength, keeping in mind the sea crossing. We spoke alone, very softly, forgetting the past and walking towards the future. We tried to imagine, in Thy presence, Thou who art the truth, what the eternal life of the saints would be, that which "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard: neither hath it entered into the heart of man" (1 Corinthians 2, 9).
That desire of speaking about heavenly things and knowing what future life awaits us at death, is inherent to human nature. Another great soul, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, alludes to that desire, and even mentions this rapture at the harbor of Ostia.
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