#MyMementoMori

Just across the other side of the pond, a dear friend of mine, Mary O’Regan, began a quest to discuss death and mortality on her Catholic journeying blog The Path Less Taken.  Mary’s simple yet liberating writing style often allows me to reflect on things that I am normally afraid to touch. She exposes the gentleness of Christ’s love and calling by exposing her own self for the sake of the gospel, for the love of our Lord. I appreciate her not only because she is a dear friend, but because she gets me in a way few people do- allowing me to be vulnerable for Christ, showing me deeper ways to His heart and encouraging me to continue to leave the world behind and to succumb to His.

I had never heard of a Memento Mori before her post. This concept reminding us that we have to die is poignant, earth shattering. The latin translation is, “remember that you have to die.” And while the literal translation reminds so many of us as it did Mary of our brushes with our own mortality, for me it reminds me of the dying to self and living for Christ that I signed up for. It reminds me that in order to live the Christian life, I have to obliterate ego, shun the world’s teachings and keep my eyes, focus and desire on the Lord and His strength, constantly seeking His face.

But in a literal sense it reminds me of a moment when my abuse happened. A moment when I felt my soul escape my  body and watch from above. I was floating high in the ceiling and was able to see my body on the ground below, and there was no doubt I died that day. That certainly wasn’t the day that I found God, but rather was the day my soul died. It was a painful twenty plus years that I spent as a dead person here on this earth. Marked with the shame of the scarlett letter “A” for abuse, I was sure that everyone knew. But it wasn’t just on the outside, it was my insides that had perished as well.

There are many reasons I know now as to why Christ waited as long as He did to save me. His timing is clear- impeccably perfect, and my suffering has become a way to connect with the crucified Christ. And in the crucifixion where I run so often, he reminds me that He is dead no longer, AND NEITHER AM I.

I have learned the skill of dying to self through the pain I have suffered, as it is a constant reminder of my mortality, the things I want to accomplish for and through Him who lights my way. In the world, there is no path to suffering, no death to self, no resurrection. It is only through the light of Christ that one can see eternal glory.

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Yes, I believe the concept exists in the Rules of St. Benedict to remember oneself ever single day that they are mortal. One of my favorite psalms, 146, I pray in Psalter, reminds me to “Put no Trust in mortal princes…their breathe is taken and they return to clay and their plans are nothing.” I am paraphrasing from memory, of course, but a very telling reminder.

    I see that your own site is gone, do you plan to continue writing for other sites? I have rebranded this site, I will continue to have blog posts, but have decided to give a shot a podcasting as well. Feel free to continue to write here, I will be mostly using the audio format at the time, but definitely need posts here. I have been spending a lot of time on a blog called All Along the Watchtower attempting to keep a once robust blog alive has taken me away from this one. The truth is that that blog has more or less died and is nothing more than a shell of its former self.

    Communio, though, still with the theme of the Latin Community is a place for many to gather, perhaps even our Orthodox and Protestant brothers and sisters.

    Like

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