Memento Mori

Spiritual reflection on mortality is a long-standing Catholic tradition. Memento mori is a Latin phrase that means “remember that you will die.”

Catholics know that, while death means the end of life on Earth, it does not mean the end of a person’s existence.

Reflecting on their certain death helps Catholics joyfully and hopefully prepare themselves for life in Heaven with God, which is everlasting.

Catholics also reflect on the fact that they have already experienced death by giving up their lives for Jesus. Their lives are no longer their own.

Looking at life and death differently:

Remember your future death as well as your past death:

Death is the end of earthly life. Our lives are measured by time, in the course of which we change, grow old and, as with all living beings on earth, death seems like the normal end of life. That aspect of death lends urgency to our lives: remembering our mortality helps us realize that we have only a limited time in which to bring our lives to fulfillment: Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, . . . before the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1007

A reminder that we will die:

Thinking about death to live as a Christian:

In whatever you do, remember your last days, and you will never sin.

Sirach 7:36

If you knew that this was the last 10 minutes of your life:

We should be prepared for death:

The Son of God thus desired to share our human condition to the very end, to reopen it to hope. After all, He was born to be able to die and thereby free us from the slavery of death. The Letter to the Hebrews says: “so that He might taste death for everyone”. Since then, death has not been the same: it was deprived, so to speak, of its “venom”. Indeed, God’s love working in Jesus gave new meaning to the whole of human existence, and thus transformed death as well. If, in Christ, human life is a “[departure] from this world to the Father”, the hour of death is the moment when it is concretely brought about once and for all. Anyone who strives to live as He did, is freed from the fear of death, which no longer shows the sarcastic sneer of an enemy but, as St Francis wrote in his Canticle of the Creature, the friendly face of a “sister” for whom one can also bless the Lord: “Praised be the Lord for our Sister, bodily Death”.

Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus Address, November 5, 2006

Aware of death but not obsessed:

Not depressing or somber, but joyful:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Epiphanies of beauty:

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