A sudden illness—a mortal suffering. It was not death, that is to say a passing over to real life, but a taste of the sufferings of death. Although it gives eternal life, death is dreadful. Suddenly, I felt sick, I gasped for breath, there was darkness before my eyes, my limbs grew numb—and there was terrible suffocation. Even a moment of such suffocation is extremely long…There also comes a strange fear, in spite of trust. I wanted to receive the last sacraments, but it was extremely difficult to make a confession even though I desire to do so. A person does not know what he is saying; not finishing one thing, he begins another.
Oh, may God keep every soul from delaying confession until the last hour! I understood the great power of the priest’s words when they are poured out upon the sick person’s soul. When I asked my spiritual father whether I was ready to stand before the Lord and whether I could be at peace, I received the reply, “You can be completely at peace, not only right now but after each weekly confession.” Great is the divine grace that accompanies these words of the priest. The soul feels power and courage for battle.