I find myself caught up in some very worldly things these days. My husband and I are reviewing our retirement plans, my aging mother will soon require a new level of attention, and some accounts from estates need to be set in order.
It’s a matter of memento mori, especially in this month when prayers for the dead are at the forefront, but also a question of life. Or perhaps specifically, a matter of how we have lived our lives in a way that leaves something behind.
Have I left a footprint on this earth? More importantly, have I left a footprint on a heart?
Have I left a footprint on a soul?
I hope so.
Although my husband and I are somewhat mired in the drudgery of paperwork, we’ve been given the gift of memories, some bittersweet, but many more lovely and even impactful. Reflecting on the lives of our loved ones has been a lesson in the virtues. On more than one occasion I have reflected on the beauty of a person’s legacy and asked myself how I can live a life filled with such grand gestures that people will remember me for my kindness or generosity or strength.
I got it wrong.
I don’t want to be remembered for any of those things. And while a big part of me would, of course, like to be remembered fondly by my loved ones, I think there are more important things to leave behind than “grandma could bake a really good carrot cake.”
I hope that those close to me have seen a faith that is, ultimately, human. A faith that is sometimes blooming, sometimes weak, sometimes messy, but always sure. A faith that is rooted in hope. A faith that can do great things with the little bits of my humanity because God wills it. A faith that is a gift from God and not of my own making.
What I hope for my children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and all that I have had the pleasure of knowing, is that any little seed of faith that I may have been a part of spreading for the Lord takes root, in the Lord’s time, in His way, for the sake of their salvation.
Copyright 2022, Maria Morera Johnson
Maria Morera Johnson, author of My Badass Book of Saints, Super Girls and Halo, and Our Lady of Charity: How a Cuban Devotion to Mary Helped Me Grow in Faith and Love writes about all the things that she loves. A cradle Catholic, she struggles with living in the world but not being of it, and blogs about those successes and failures, too.
Our Novena Prayers for the Holy Souls In Purgatory
*May be prayed in a cemetery or from home
We’ll be using this gem I discovered in the Pieta Prayer booklet. While it is intended for praying at cemeteries (staying in your car counts), it can be done from home or at church. I have done it for years, and try to attend Mass each day as well! I love walking around the cemetery, prayerfully reading each name while I recite the following Novena Prayers:
- Five Apostle’s Creeds;
- One Hail, Holy Queen;
- One each of the Our Father (Lord’s Prayer), Hail Mary and Glory be; &
- Conclude with Requiem Prayer:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them, and may they rest in peace. Amen.