Dying to Forgive
How the concept of memento mori can help us to forgive this Lent
“So will my heavenly Father do to you unless each of you forgive your brother from your heart.”
Forgiving family can be a tricky thing. Situations between family are often messy. Feelings get hurt. But my mother always reminded me that you only have one family.
In today’s gospel, Jesus tells us that we not only have to forgive but forgive our brother from the heart. So many of us struggle with our relationships with our siblings for a variety of reasons. But as my mother pointed out, they are still our family, the one God gave us.
I know there are many of you reading this right now who are scared to extend a hand to your brother or sister after so much time has passed. But that is exactly what God wants you to do this Lent. And to do this, try meditating on the concept of memento mori, which translated means, remember that you must die. By using this ancient practice to contemplate our own inevitable death, we are reminded of those things that we must resolve on this side of earth. Lent and the concept of memento mori go hand in hand.
As you sit and reflect on your immortality, God’s love will surely arrive to soften your heart. A reflection on death is what gets us to contemplate living. And not simply living, but counting the number of days to live out God’s will and His commandments.
I hope that you will consider using memento mori as a way to heal and to get the divine assistance you need to reach across the aisle to your loved one. Call on your guardian angel, your favorite saint, and of course our Blessed Mother to help you to do it. Tomorrow is never promised, so begin the process of forgiveness today, remembering that we must die.