Think about those times in your life when you have felt inspired to something really great. Where does that inspiration come from?
The Holy Spirit. God inspires us to do great things with our lives.
----Matthew Kelly

Welcome to The Not So Perfect Catholic!

Disclaimer: I am not a theologian, just a Catholic empty-nester trying to figure it all out. The views on this blog are my own.

A Catholic Woman's Perspective of Death

As Catholics, we are taught not to fear death but to embrace it. We eagerly await the time when we are called home to our destination, our reason for being on this earth. I remember discussions with my mother about death. When asked, she said she wasn't afraid to die. Growing up, I wasn't either. I was more scared of how I was going to die.
The Song of the Prayer of St. Francis has the lyrics "And in dying that we're born to eternal life". We have to die to live in the joyous, most beautiful Heaven. We have to die to see God.
The first time I had been around someone when they died was when my father passed away. I worked in a nursing home for a couple of years as a Speech-Language Pathologist but was never around a resident when they passed. It was such a beautiful thing, to be with my daddy when he left this world and went to be with God. I wasn't scared at all. I know I was right where I was supposed to be. I almost left my brother's house but something...someone told me to stay. I know it was the Holy Spirit urging me to be with my daddy when he passed away. Our God is a gracious, merciful God. Daddy's passing was so very peaceful and it definitely was one of the most beautiful, amazing events in my life.
I was asked once if my father was scared to die. Looking back, I have to answer with a resounding "no".  His faith in God kept his eyes focused on being with Him and being reunited with my mother. We should all pray for such a peaceful, happy death.

What is this "Day of the Dead"?

A recent article in Aleteia was titled "Why do Catholics celebrate Day of the Dead"? Interesting. My parents were born and raised in Texas and my minor in college was Spanish, yet I only heard of this "Día de los Muertos" a few years ago. Or maybe I had heard of it but a huge emphasis wasn't placed on it. This is a beautiful celebration that takes place over 2 days (All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day) to honor those family members who have died.
Day of the Dead has picked up steam in the education world, and I'm sure the real meaning is being watered down. Personally, I've steered clear of it in my therapy activities because I'm not sure how to separate the religious meaning from the secular meaning and to be perfectly honest, I don't want to. It's also my belief that it's the parents' responsibility to teach their children about death and how to respect it.
You can learn more about Día de los Muertos through this National Geographic article.

Memento Mori

This is something I've definitely never heard of. Sister Theresa Aletheia, FSP, has brought this phrase back to life, so to speak. Latin for "Remember your death", the skull is a reminder that we all will die. This practice is a reminder to put all things into perspective. Our ultimate goal is to get to heaven. All of the stress & chaos in the world seem a little less serious when we live for Him and when we reach for that ultimate goal. 
Sister Theresa Aletheia wrote a journal that is available for purchase. I'm looking forward to receiving mine and learning more about Memento Mori. 

I would urge anyone to not fear death. Dying is something we all will experience. Put your faith in God and do what you can spiritually to be ready. 

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