As we navigate the month of November and the end of the liturgical calendar, I am struck by something we all need to be ready for. This comes as I reflect on the many lives that has been lost in 2022, whether neighbor, celebrity, retired figure or close relative. No, Christmas is not one though it will be here before we can blink. The one thing that we all must prepare ourselves for is death.
With Advent close by, we will hear the theme of being prepared. It is no different when our time on earth comes to an end. Remember this phrase, “Tempus Fugit, Memento Mori”. I was introduced to this phrase when I first became a member of the Knights of Columbus in 2008. When translated from Latin to English, it means, “Time flies, remember death”.
I think back to a talk that Fr. Mike Schmitz gave at a conference. His opening line of the discussion, “You’re going to die” would shock many of us. It did for me. However, we must embrace that reality.
First, the life we are living is only temporary. However, we must take a good look at how we are living it. Are we living it to the fullest for our gratification? Are we living it in accordance with God?
I am for seeing the world, attending sporting events, and accomplishing as many life goals as possible. But what matters most is how we live our faith.
Second, we are surrounded by the walking dead (no, not zombies) in our culture today. I am talking about people whose faith is dead inside. If something tragic were to happen, they will face God and would have to answer on matters of faith. This is true for us. We all will give an account of our lives as we’re reminded in the Gospel of Matthew in the passage of the Final Judgment.
I always think of the scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when the main character and the would-be female antagonist were chased by the brotherhood of a secret society whose mission is to protect the Holy Grail. As Indy confronts Kazim about the grail and his father's whereabouts, there is a boat that is ready to be sliced apart by a ship’s propeller. Kazim utters the phrase, “My soul is prepared, how’s yours?”
This scene demonstrates how we must prepare to die and meet our creator. The only thing we must do now is preparing for that day. Receive the sacraments, develop a prayer routine, do works of mercy, defend the faith, encourage others to learn about the faith or return to it, attend Mass on Sundays, Holy Days, and even daily, and receive Jesus in the state of grace. These are the ways to prepare for death.
Are you prepared?
Tempus Fugit Memento Mori