"Since they are immersed in the resurrection of Christ, which gives true meaning to Sister Death, let them serenely tend toward the ultimate encounter with the Father." (Article 19c, Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order)
To "serenely tend towards the ultimate encounter with the Father," is not an easy thing, especially in this country, where we combating death with all the weapons medical science gives to us. And there is still the fear factor, fear of the unknown, fear of not really knowing what will happen to us as we breathe our last. It is when we have developed a constant relationship with God, when we strive to daily encounter Him, open our hearts to experience His love; that we develope a trust in that love, develope the hope in the resurrection promised us by our Savior.
It is difficult when it just involves us, individually. It is really hard when it involves the possible loss of a love one. My Dad is currently in a local hospital, suffering from pneumonia, and he is in his eighties. To hear the medical staff tell it, it could go either way. I am praying for healing, but I am also praying that my hope and my trust in the Lord's promise is not misplaced.