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.