We are all going to die.
Every single one of us.
And, over time, so will all those whom we know and love.
This reality can strike fear in the heart of even the most faithful Christian. Yet, if we are pursuing holiness and conformity to God’s will, we need not fear what the future has in store for us: it is heaven, and union with the Lord Who is the source of our joy.
Christ has already died for each of us, and if we have been baptized, then we have died to the world through our baptism in Him. If we understand and believe these truths of our Faith, we can live freely in the light of His love for us. We can spend our lives seeking His will and aspiring only for His will to be done. We can let go of our fear of death and embrace the unique mission He asks of us in our finite time on earth.
Fear is a natural part of our humanity, but it is not the better part. The better part is to fix our gaze confidently on God, Who desires all to be saved.
Instead of focusing on the unfamiliar, uncontrollable aspect of bodily death, God calls us to rejoice in the gift of our immortal souls, and to embrace the hope and the promise implicit in bodily death.
This is a grace of the practice of memento mori, which is Latin for “Remember your death.”
To take memento mori to heart is to remember our own deaths, and to live each day so that we are prepared to see the face of God. The practice of memento mori is essential, as it keeps the reality of our mortality present in our minds so that we may best live in a manner that will grant us heaven upon our death. How powerful to ready ourselves in the here and now, which we know is fleeting, for the gift of eternity with Christ Jesus!
This life is precious. Every moment is gift and mystery. One day, at the hand of death, we will look upon the One Who we know loves us. His kingdom and our relationship with Him will endure into eternity, when we have left all we know of this world behind us.
So, until that day, memento mori!
Remember your death more fruitfully, joyfully, and prayerfully with Memento Mori: Prayers on the Last Things, a beautiful prayer book that helps you pray and meditate on death and the afterlife. Encouraged by Scripture and the saints, this ancient tradition can help you manage the chaos of this world, grow closer to God, and focus on heaven. Available today at the Catholic Company!