Memento Mori. Remember your death. These may not be words we want to hear, but there are words we need to understand. They are also words we should live by daily. In a follow up to her popular lenten retreat book Remember Your Death: Memento Mori Lenten Devotional, Sr. Theresa Aletheia Noble has compiled an excellent prayer book to aid in our earthly journeys entitled Memento Mori: Prayers on the Last Things.
The book provides prayers to incorporate into our daily spirit routines. These include the practices of daily prayer, Eucharistic Adoration, before and after Mass times, and even group prayer. As one thumbs through the book and reads the introductory, they will find a significant number of reasons why we should be adding these types of prayers to our daily prayer regimen. More importantly, the book is packed with plenty to use.
The book is divided into four sections of focus as follows:
Prayers to Live and to Die Well – This section of prayers helps readers to meditate on death and prepare for life’s inevitable and predictable end.
This section includes: Prayers to Imitate Jesus, Prayers for a Good Death, Prayers for the Dying, Marian Prayers for Assistance
Prayers to Prepare to Meet Jesus – This section of prayers helps you to ask God to prepare for your life’s end and when you will meet Jesus, the merciful and just judge.
This section includes: Prayers of Repentance (with a fantastic Memento Mori Daily Examen), Prayers for the Dead
Prayers to Combat the Powers of Darkness – This section helps you remain awake and wage battle against sin and Satan.
This section includes: The Sacrament of Baptism, Prayer to Jesus, Our Eucharistic Lord, Spiritual Warfare Prayers, The Power of the Rosary (including the Memento Mori Rosary)
Prayers for Union with God – The section of prayers will help you set your eyes on heaven and live for union with God both now and forever.
This section includes: Prayers of Praise to God, Prayers to Live for Heaven, Marian Prayers of Hope
There are two Appendixes that equally as valuable as the rest of the book. Appendix 1 consists of prayers in Latin and English. Appendix 2 is an explanation of indulgences.
Focusing on our deaths can be a difficult and uncomfortable task. However, the practice is not new. It’s an ancient practice that many who are now saints have taken up. Its value lies in the spiritual jolt it gives those who practice it. By pulling back the curtains of time and facing the harsh reality that yes, we will die eventually, our relationship with our merciful judge, Jesus Christ, will grow stronger. Our goal is heaven. To get there, we must pass away from this earth; we must die. The practice of Memento Mori will help us on that journey and prepare us for the inevitable. Take, read, pray…the rewards are boundless.