[adapted from What You Take to Heaven]
If, in life, you reach who you really are, at the end of life -- at the conclusion of this earthly journey -- everything will fall into place. The first person you will meet upon dying will be your true self.
"This means to grow towards the Glory to come and the beauty which is destined for us," noted a religious named Sister Emmanuel, who penned the book on Maria Simma, the mystic who saw souls.
"Each minute, we can still grow in love, but the souls in purgatory can no longer grow. Even the angels envy us this power we have to grow each minute in love while we are on earth. Each little act of love we offer to the Lord, each little sacrifice or fast, each little privation or battle against our tendencies, our faults, each little forgiveness of our enemies, all the things we can offer of this sort, will be later for us an ornament, a jewel, a real treasure for eternity.
"So let us seize every opportunity to be as beautiful as God desires us to be already in His prescience. If we saw in its full light the splendor of a pure soul, of a soul purified, then we would cry for joy and wonder, because of its beauty!
"A human soul is something of great splendor before God; this is why God desires us to be perfectly pure. It is not by being faultless in our ways that we will become pure. No, it is through our repentance of our sins, and our humility. You see, it's quite different! The saints are not 'faultless' souls, but those who get up again and again each time they fall, and ask forgiveness."
What do we take to Heaven? We take our effort with us. We take our life lessons with us into the afterlife. We bring knowledge. We take what we learned from what we did right and what we learned from what we did wrong. We will bring through the tunnel a bushel full of efforts.
Little efforts, big efforts. "Little" matters to God. You are walking somewhere. You see litter. It's not your litter. But you pick it up because it is in a wooded area and it is sullying His Creation.
That intent, and that effort, mean something -- perhaps even much -- to Him.
You spend time in prayer each day clicking off everyone you know who needs help, and ask God for help for them.
Did you ever realize that when you're distressed, when things are dark, when you are filled with worry and concern, perhaps stark fear, that praying for others in need brings peace to the situation?
We are what we pray for but also who we pray for.
Seek perfect compassion.
This is very important.
Always look at a person or situation from the aspect of how you can pray to better a person.
"Providence puts enough difficulties in our lives, trials, suffering, sickness, hardships -- so that all these purifications, if we accept them, may be enough to bring us straight to Heaven," said the good sister.
How can we get sad or mad (or frustrated) when such things are tickets to the eternal?
"We can really say that love, humility, and abandonment to God are the three golden keys to going directly to Heaven," she added.
At Kibeho in Rwanda the Blessed Mother said, "What are you waiting for? You spend your time indulging yourselves in worldly pleasure, whereas eternal happiness belongs to the one who has known suffering, accepted it, and offered it up to the Lord."
She also said, "Travelers! Why look back? What have you left behind? Take your luggage now because the remaining road is short. Look forward because happiness lies in front of you."
Faith from the heart gives perfection.