Step #1: Lectio / Read
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Memento mori. Remember your death.
It’s a Latin saying that has become tradition in the Church over hundreds of years. It's a reminder to reflect on the fact that you will die. And no one knows when that will be.
In some ways, it is morbid, but in many ways it’s a beautiful reminder of our mortality and to constantly strive to live in God’s graces.
In today’s reading Jesus reminding the disciples to keep watch. The disciples have a bit of a different context than us, but it’s also a reminder for us to keep watch. To be vigilant at all times and not allow our hearts to become drowsy.
One of my dearest neighborhood friends, Larry, recently was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He’s 61 and we share the same birthday. He’s Australian and lives half the year in Australia, half the year in D.C. He’s been one of my best friends since I moved to D.C. five years ago.
Larry had been complaining of pain just a few weeks ago. He’s a very healthy man who knows his body pretty well. He told me he thought it may be pancreatitis, but when he went in the hospital told him nothing was wrong and sent him home.
Three weeks later he was in so much pain he went back to the hospital. This time it was a different diagnosis: pancreatic cancer. It’s an often quick and incurable cancer. It already had spread to his liver and intestines, maybe more.
Larry was given two to five months to live.
Just that Wednesday before we were all at the Irish pub, singing along to some spirited Celtic tunes and classic John Denver cover songs. And two days later I got the 6 a.m. phone call.
Please say a quick prayer for my friend Larry, for his physical healing and conversion to Christ. I have hope – we all have hope that God may give Larry a miracle. Not a man of faith, Larry accepted a small gift and has been carrying in his pocket a rosary from Lourdes that had been blessed by Pope Benedict. We are trying to have hope, even in such a difficult time.
But the experience has been a somber reminder that life can change quickly. And we are fragile human beings. We could be here one day and gone the next.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy life – celebrating it and having fun. But we should be yearning to live in a state of grace, free from mortal sin. We should remember that life is short and a gift, a gift that could be taken away at any moment, and to live with intention and purpose in every day.
One 6 a.m. wake up call could change your entire life.
Remember your death. It will change you for the better, and you can respect this amazing gift of life all the more.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
How will you choose to live differently, especially in your relationship with God, if you consciously took time to remember your death everyday?
Are you living in a way that you would be okay if you died tomorrow? If not, how can you begin to fix that?
What can you do to reminder yourself to remember your death, and live a life full of joy and grace?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"All I am is Yours, Lord."
"Come Holy Spirit."
"Here I am Lord."
Step #5: Actio / Act
Use today's lock screen or find some way to remind yourself to remember your death everyday. If you start to think about that everyday, it will truly help you live a life more focused on heavenly joy rather than earthly distractions.
Smartphone Lock Screen
Today's prayer was prepared by Andrea Scott, a writer and editor based in Washington, D.C.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.
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