Remember… will die -Living Contentment

Remember – You Will Die

Hi Reader,

Welcome to Living Contentment Weekly. Here are your three contentment-related thoughts for today. Something for you to: read | do | pray


Memento Mori
Latin – “Remember death”

Not exactly a pick-me-up

But to be honest, we get a lot of synthetic happy encouragement – so perhaps some honest truth about our mortality is appropriate.

In the past skulls and bones and tombs were commonplace – often used as reminders of the inevitable.

Memento Mori – Remember Death (sometimes paraphrased as Remember, You will Die) was a common phrase among Christians for centuries.

Pictures, small coins, pendants, drawings – all were used starting in the 13th century -for HUNDREDS of years – to remind the faithful this life was not all there was. This life was finite. This world is temporary. This experience is not ultimate.

If we’re trying to find contentment in this world, and the things it has for us -we will always be disappointed.

If you’re my age – and grew up on Star Wars – maybe when you hear the phrase “you will die” the first thing that comes to mind is the Emporer threatening Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi….

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but I digress…. back to death

Lent – the 40 days leading up to Easter – started yesterday with Ash Wednesday. A day when some Christians mark a cross on their forehead in ashes – a reminder of their mortality.

….ashes to ashes…..dust to dust.

It helps reset where and how we’re looking for contentment. If we want a lasting, eternal kind of contentment – it won’t come from the finite and passing things of this world.

No matter how good they look


This 16th-century Dutch carving depicts a young woman who appears to be in the prime of her life. Fancy clothes, a lap dog, thick gold chain all indicate she has great wealth. However, there is an inscription around her veil in Latin

It reads- “Alas, I must die”

There is a backside to this carving – and it really couldn’t be more different.

Ecce Finem is what is written across her skull “this is the end”

Her body is mostly decomposed and worms, slugs, frogs, and even salamanders devour what’s left of her


This is an example of a medieval Memento Mori piece – something meant to help people remember their own mortality. When they see it – they remember they will die. And perhaps live a little different

Now you do that.

Think about the fact that someday – not ALL that long in the future – you will be remembered. People will talk about when you were alive.

People will gather at a graveside, and words will be spoken about you.

What impact does that have on you?
How does that make you feel?
How does that make you feel about the things you are pursuing?
Are your current priorities the same ones you will have on your deathbed?


{adapted modern Catholic prayer}

Lord Jesus, Son of God, who was born in a stable, lived life in poverty and hardship,
suffered and died upon the Cross, have mercy upon me.
I pray that I live each hour remembering “You are dust, and to dust, you shall return”. (Genesis 3:19)
I pray to ask you, upon the hour of my death, which might come to me today, next week, next year, or years from now,
that you might say to your divine almighty Father: “Father, forgive him” (Luke 23:34)
And that you shall say to my soul:
“This day you will be with Me in Paradise”. (Luke 23:43)
My God, my God, Forsake me not in that hour. (Psalms 38:21)
For when the angel of death is upon me: “Into Your hands, I commit my spirit”. (Luke 23:46)
Lord Jesus, receive my soul.


Talk to you next Thursday!