Memento Mori, meaning “remember your death,” is often symbolized in sacred art by a skull. Many hermits and scholars within the Church are painted holding a skull close to them or have it resting near their books. This reflects the saint’s understanding that their fulfillment lies beyond this life.
The skull is a reminder that the world does not satisfy our infinite desire; therefore, we have confidence in the struggle of the everyday knowing each moment draws us closer to our eternal home.
The flowers dying and rising throughout the scarf reflect our call to die to self so we might rise in Christ. St. John the Baptist reminds us of the core in this calling, “He must increase and I must decrease” (John 3:30). Joseph Ratzinger’s The Spirit of the Liturgy mentions how creation point us to this reality in that the days get shorter after John the Baptist’s birthday in July and the days are longer after Christ’s birthday.
The promise of the resurrection is reaffirmed again in the scarf with a blue butterfly (a sign of the resurrection) floating near the skull.
The dark penitential background reminds us: “Dust you are and dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).
The gold ornaments in the corners are a note of reverence for those who have died and the hope of eternal life. During the Anointing of the Sick, a sick-call crucifix that holds the candles, holy water, and oil for the blessing often has gold detailing since this would be set up during the administering of Holy Communion to the one who is ill.
We hope this scarf can be a tangible reminder to pray the Litany of Humility as an act of dying to self. In addition, we hope it encourages confidence that despite our frailty and mortality, Christ has promised eternal life and to provide every needed grace in the struggles of this life.
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