"I promise thee in the excess of the mercy of My Heart, that its all-powerful Love will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of Nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour."
Death is indeed a fearsome, unknown frontier where we leave the passing comforts of this world to face our Maker and Judge, with all of our sins and failings. No matter how good we think we may be, we know all too well we are nothing compared to the supreme holiness and goodness of God. How can we dare face Him? It is only the encouraging words of Jesus Himself which make it possible for us to go before God, knowing that Jesus is with us as our mediator and intercessor; our "assured refuge" as He says in this promise.
To keep this spiritual bond with Him strong, Jesus gives us one more means by way of the First Fridays of nine consecutive months. The practice is to receive Holy Communion on these First Fridays. "Without me, you can do nothing," Jesus said, and so we need the grace of His Body and Blood in order to save our souls. "He who eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood shall never die." This assumes, of course, a worthy communion in the state of grace, after confession if it was needed, and the proper dispositions of soul.
To do this for nine consecutive months implies great commitment on our part, and is evidence of a soul genuinely seeking his or her salvation.
The grace we receive from this practice is to die in the state of grace, in repentance. It does not mean that the person will definitely receive the Last Rites; but it does mean that the dying person would have received some sacraments prior to death, whether it be confession, Holy Communion or the Last Rites.
We do not merit this great grace. It comes from, as Jesus Himself says in this promise, "the excess of mercy" coming from His Sacred Heart. All is grace; we claim nothing of our own. But grace is never forced on us. God gives us the grace to freely accept the grace offered. It only makes sense to use this grace Jesus is offering us in First Friday devotion. But no one can force us; not even God. So decide today to start making this devotion!