21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.
Phil 21:21 – 24
Today I connect with my mortality. I am dust, and to dust I shall return
(Gen 3:19). As a visible sign to establish and confirm this inner truth, my forehead is marked with the cross of ashes (dust).
It is difficult to get in touch with my own death. It is something I would rather avoid because apart from the fact that I have to handle enough negativity and problems, it is just too morbid to think of my own death as well. In his book ‘Denial of Death’, Becker speaks of the tendency in a culture to ignore death. People’s ignorance and avoidance are directly connected to their psychological problems.
Jesus (John 2:19), Paul (Phil 1:21) and the early church encouraged this connection. It can be good to even just imagine my own funeral.
When I live with a conscience of my own mortality, life gets new meaning; a new appreciation for each day awakens in me. I know that my life as it is now, will pass. I realise that I am not only dust, but also spirit. I shall live, even if I have died.
• Do something that you feel comfortable with, to connect with your mortality.
• You can receive the cross of ashes on your forehead. The reason for it is to feel, see and experience a sense of your mortality, and to ponder it.
• You can also put your hands into the soil and just feel the soil.
• You can also imagine attending your own funeral. Where will the service be held? Who will be there? What will they say about you?
• Share your feelings with God.