Boast not yourself of tomorrow; for you know not what a day may bring forth.
Read Chapter 27
Caesarius of Arles
Let us turn to him, dearly beloved, and not wish to defer our amendment until the end of our life. Let us listen to the prophet when he says, “Delay not your conversion to the Lord, put it not off from day to day,” “for you know not what any day may bring forth.” O man, why do you delay from day to day, when perhaps today you are going to have your last day? Sermon
“You know not what any day may bring forth.” “Between morning and evening the weather changes.” Elsewhere we are also advised with a salutary precept: “Let us walk while we still have the light, before darkness comes over us.” Now some careless person may say, When I reach old age, then I shall have recourse to the healing of repentance. The wretched person does not know that if one has been accustomed to commit sins with a promise of repentance, never or only with difficulty will he merit to obtain the fruit of repentance.
Therefore let us love our enemies. Perhaps the person who is your friend today will commit such sins that he cannot be with you in eternal life, “for you know not what tomorrow may bring.” On the contrary, your enemy may be converted to repentance in such a way that he merits to be your fellow citizen in that heavenly Jerusalem; in fact, he might even become greater than you.
With what boldness does he put off his salvation to old age, when he cannot be certain of the space of one day? Therefore, if we do not want to fear death, we should always be ready. Then, when the Lord bids us come from this world, we may come before the sight of the eternal judge with a clear and free conscience; not with despair but with joy.
Let us not then be procrastinating until tomorrow. For we “know not what the next day may bring forth,” nor let us say “we shall conquer this habit “little by little,” since this “little by little” will never come to an end. Therefore, dismissing that excuse, let us say, “If we do not reform the practice of swearing today, we will not delay until later, when ten thousand things press upon us. Though it were necessary to die, or to be punished, or to lose all that we have, we will not give the devil the advantage of slackness nor the pretext of delay.” Thus if God should perceive your soul inflamed and your diligence quickened, then he also himself will lend his assistance to change you.
He that says, “When I am dying I will be baptized, lest I should sin and defile my baptism,” is ignorant of God and forgetful of his own nature. For “do not delay to turn to the Lord, for you do not know what the next day will bring forth.” Baptize also your infants, and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of God. For he says, “Suffer the little children to come to me, and forbid them not.” .