Here we are, the start of another Lenten season. The older I get, the more I anticipate and look forward to it. It’s not because it’s one less Lent I will have to endure (although that’s true) – or that I’m one year closer to being exempt from fasting (also true, but surely I kid). I believe it’s because I’m gradually becoming more mature in my faith, and deepening my love of Jesus Christ.
I think my affinity towards Lent was sparked after reading Sherry Weddell’s Forming Intentional Disciples, and going through the Called & Gifted program several years ago. C&G brought my faith to a whole new level I didn’t think possible, and to this day, I still consider myself a disciple of Christ, following wherever He leads me, trusting more and more in His word. I have become more aware of the moments where God is leading me to exercise my charisms. Tis a beautiful thing when it happens.
And I believe this is is another one of those moments, a nudge towards something I hadn’t considered.
This Lent, I’m using the Memento Mori Lenten Devotional, by Sr Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP, and published by Pauline Books & Media. Sr Theresa (@pursuedbytruth on Twitter) tweets and talks on the ancient Christian tradition of memento mori – “Remember your death” – and her enthusiasm for this practice inspired me to purchase the devotional and journal. I have zero expectations on what my faith and life will resemble on the other side of Easter. How will I be changed? What will my life look like?
Sr Theresa succinctly explains why this practice is important, in the devotional’s Forward:
Remembering one’s death is an absolutely essential aspect of the Christian life not only because it helps us to live well but also because it helps us remember what Christ has done for us. Jesus trampled death! Memento mori is not a momentary trend but an ancient practice encouraged by Scripture, Jesus, the Church Fathers, and many of the saints. With the grace of God, memento mori has the power to change your habits and lead you to holiness.
So here we go. Day 1 on the path to changing habits and increasing holiness. Putting out into the deep, talking about death. Who’s with me?
Image source: personal photo of Larry Denninger (please ask permission to use)