At the Hour of Death
Father Nick had a question and answer session after Mass. One of his explanations really hit home with me. He was talking about death, and how Satan waits to attack you then--when you are at your physical weakest. "Wait that happened to me!" See my poem on Cronkhite Canada Syndrome.
Fr. Nic continued: "That's why it's so important for the Salve Squad to come in. The Salve Squad consists of my Dominican brothers and sisters being with you, when you are close to death. They pray with you and sing the Salve Regina."
Immediately I thought of the Hail Mary. At the end, don't we pray "...and at the hour of our death?"
There's also the Divine Mercy Chaplet that should be prayed when one is dying. Sister Faustina's diary says, "At the hour of their death, I defend every soul that will say this chaplet as I do My own glory (...). When this chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God's anger is placated and his unfathomable mercy envelops the soul" (Diary, 811).
Even in wikipoedia I learned: In Roman Catholic teachings, Saint Michael is one of the angels who are assumed present at the hour of a person's death. In his role as the patron of holy souls, Michael reaches to souls near death and saves them, hence frustrating Satan. Traditionally, he is charged to assist the dying and accompany their souls to their private judgment, bring them to purgatory and afterwards, present them to God at their entrance to heaven.
Even when I was wasting away, I had enough sense to ask for Saint Michael's help. I didn't have the strength of any sort of mental acuity to pray the Rosary or remember anything else. But I remembered Michael the Archangel, in my "valley of tears."
When my death comes around, I pray that I have my family around, and that we are all praying a Rosary, so Mary will guide me home. Just imagine, our souls being united in prayer. As St. Catherine of Siena said, "the way to heaven is heaven..."