aSpire: News from the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
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March 8, 2019
CNS / Lisa Johnston, St. Louis Review

Remember your death

We have one life. What are we doing with it? Are we remembering our death?

Sounds strange? That's what a Daughter of St. Paul is doing through her revival of an ancient practice called memento mori, or remembering the inevitability of one's own death.

Sister Theresa Aletheia Noble's new book, "Remember Your Death: Memento Mori," was released by the Daughters of St. Paul in January. Now in its second printing, the Lenten devotional was designed to help others meditate on the moments of their lives and ultimately remember our Christian hope in the Resurrection — made possible through Christ's victory over sin and death. A companion journal was published last year.

In 2017, another sister in the community gave Sister Theresa Aletheia a small ceramic skull to place on her desk. To keep her promise to reflect on death, she shared some reflections on Twitter using the hashtag #mementomori.

"As I was doing it, I was feeling this monumental shift in my spiritual life," she told the St. Louis Review, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Memento mori was popularized in medieval times but it dates back to early Christianity, as seen in Scripture. One of Sister Theresa Aletheia's favorite passages is from the Book of Sirach: "In whatever you do, remember your last days, and you will never sin" (Sirach 7:36). In the New Testament, Jesus reminded the disciples to pick up their crosses daily and to remember their death as they follow him: "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." (Luke 9:23).

Lent is an obvious time to reflect on death, which is why she decided to create a devotional, rather than write a book.

 — Jennifer Brinker 
Catholic News Service 

How to observe Lent

One way to observe the holy season is by participating in devotions and parish missions organized at various parishes. Check out this list and make plans to join Stations of the Cross or another activity near you.

St. Frances of Rome

March 9

This laywoman and foundress, born a Roman aristocrat, married Lorenzo Ponziano when she was 13; they had several children. Frances, known for her great charity during epidemics and civil war, organized a ladies society dedicated to self-denial and good works. She is the patron saint of motorists, perhaps because she was guarded for 23 years by an archangel visible only to her. Her last words were: “The angel has finished his work. He is beckoning me to follow.”

Read more about the fidelity of this holy laywoman.

Just one minute

 On Ash Wednesday we receive ashes with the words “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return” (or “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”) It is a powerful thing to have a healthy remembrance of death. We can let earthly concerns take every bit of our energy, time and heart. There is a phrase in Latin "momento mori." which means "remember your death." (Watch Father Mike Schmitz's short video on Momento Mori) As disciples of Jesus we know that this life is not all there is. This empowers us to live differently; more generous, more free and more joyful.

Here is the link to Best Lent Ever resources.

Reflection: Take some time today in silence and in a healthy way with the Lord remember that you will die one day. How do you want to be remembered? Where do you desire to spend eternity? How are the choices you are making today helping or hurting those desires?

— Deacon Danny Hartnedy

March Datebook

9-10: 3-on-3 basketball tournament, Little Rock

9: Rite of Election, Rogers

10: Daylight Saving Time Begins

10: Rite of Election, Little Rock

10: First Sunday of Lent

11: Rite of Election, Texarkana

14-17: Ignatian Silent Directed Retreat, Little Rock

15-17: Permanent Diaconate Formation Weekend (Spanish), Subiaco

17: St. Patrick’s Day

18-22: Spring Break for Catholic Schools

19-21: Spring Education Days for Clergy, Little Rock

20: First day of spring

30-31: CRS collection in all parishes

30: Junktique Sale, Little Rock

See more events


"We all know it usually is easier or more comfortable to notice and condemn the defects and sins of others rather than seeing our own with that kind of clarity."

— Pope Francis, March 3

Seasonal socks

How about some fun socks for Lent or St. Patrick's Day? Sockreligious has released two new designs to help you observe the season in style. You can order here and pick up a pair for yourself and a friend. As an affiliate, Arkansas Catholic gets a small commission from your order to support the diocese's communications ministry.
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