Fr. Dave's Homilies

Memento Mori: What It Means to ‘Remember Our Death’


In a special homily preached on All Souls’ Day from the Church of Notre Dame de Lorette, in France, Father Dave discusses our culture’s tendency to avoid thinking about death. “Many of us would rather not admit that we will die.” Father Dave says, even though we are told, as Catholics, to remember our deaths. “The idea of ‘memento mori’ is not to be morbid, but to help us live a Christian life.”

Father Dave points out Saint Paul’s emphasis that the hope of God does not disappoint, “This hope that Saint Paul talks about is not the same notion as, ‘I hope I win the lottery’ … Christian hope is sure and certain hope. It still allows God to be God. Sure and certain hope is an ongoing process.” He explains that we should not presume that we are going straight to heaven; rather we should remember our death and continue to reconcile with God when we fall short.

Father Dave emphasizes that All Souls’ Day is important because it reminds us of God’s grace — we pray to God in sure and certain hope that he will welcome us into his kingdom.

Originally published November 7, 2019.