Living Memento Mori

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Member Reviews

An inspiring and spiritually rich book about suffering. Within the framework of the Stations oi the Cross, DeArdo looks atr many aspects of suffering and pain, often using her own struggles as the bawsis. Each short chapter ends with a few questions.

Unlike so many religious books it's not overly pius, nior is it heavy-haned. It's rewarding and comforting instead.

I highly recommend it.
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I didn’t think I’d want to touch a book on the topic of death when the idea seemed way too close for comfort as it was, but I truly felt that DeArdo gets it. I needed to read this book. Each of the 14 chapters corresponds to one of the Stations of the Cross. DeArdo begins each chapter with a short meditation on a particular Station, then discusses her own spiritual journey as well as the particular health challenges she faces as a cystic fibrosis patient and lung transplant recipient. Keep a notebook or journal handy as you read: every chapter concludes with several questions for journaling.
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**I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review**

I had the pleasure of meeting Emily in 2015, and ever since I have greedily devoured her writing. Her humor and zest for life are evident in her candid, honest blog  And in the essays she writes for take up and read.  Not surprisingly, I was greatly looking forward to this book!

With Living Memento Mori, Emily does not disappoint. She shares her unique journey of being a double lung transplant survivor, and parallels her health journey to that of Jesus making His way to Calvary. Emily does a great job of illustrating the value of  suffering, and of reminding us we're not alone in our struggles.  Exploring these themes while being ever conscious of how  our time on Earth is fleeting, Emily gives us a roadmap - reminding us that Jesus has already walked this path before. Further, it's up to us to take up our cross and follow him as we prepare for the conclusion of our earthly lives and the commencement of eternal life in heaven with him.

Living Memento Mori would make a great Lenten read. I can also see it being a helpful book to ponder not only with the simple, daily struggles of life, but particularly after a difficult diagnosis, during times of transition in life, or a life crisis.
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Living Memento Mori: My Journey through the Stations of the Cross by [DeArdo, Emily M.]This is a touching book about the author's approach to death. Emily DeArdo was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at eleven. She decided to use memento mori (remember you must die), a medieval Christian practice to help others find meaning of life and death in Christ. 

This would be a great book for a small group study or to use in one's own time of meditation.

I was given this book by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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A book to read, meditate on and cherish. I don't think there was a single page where I didn't learn something or feel inspired to delve deeper. The only caveat for me is that it is written from within the Catholic tradition with quotes from the Pope etc. I only mention this because I am from the Evangelical Orthodox Protestant tradition but read this to broaden my horizons. I'm glad I did as I found my soul nourished. Recommended. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Ave Maria Press for ARC.
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Emily DeArdo has written a beautiful book about the meaning of suffering in our lives. Having been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of eleven and undergone a double lung transplant at age 23, she has been through much physical, mental, and emotional suffering in her life. In “Living Memento Mori” she deftly combines scripture, the stations of the cross, the writings of St. John Paul II, and her own story. The book inspired deep reflection on my part guided both by the story and the carefully thought out questions at the end of each chapter. She reminds us of the fact that Jesus, Mary, and the disciples were real people with human emotions that we can all relate to our own lives and reminds us that there is purpose to the suffering in our lives. I guarantee that no matter your faith or your station in life there is wisdom you can glean from it, and it will touch your heart and soul.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book and what it offers as fruits of contemplation. I would recommend it is a great any time of the year, but I cannot help thinking this a great reading and tool for someone during the season of Lent. 

Emily DeArdo through her experience is able to give readers a up close understanding of a thought no one wants to talk about; death. For so many this topic is avoided at all cost, what Emily does is bring it to the table as something one should not be afraid of conversing about. 

Emily DeArdo’s writing style is one where you feel she is talking to face to face. With that being said her writing is one that doesn’t bombard you, but instead instills a sense of ‘huh never really looked at it that way’ or ‘thank you for helping me finally speak on this’. 

I do enjoy that there are questions at the end of each chapter and in the appendix information on the Way of the Cross or Examination of Conscience. I do have a few recommendations when it comes to this book. 

First, I believe this is a great book to read with others. Maybe a chapter a week or a month and come together and discuss that particular chapter. With her questions at the end of each chapter I think it can be a good book to do such. 

Second, there are many who can read books in a matter of hours, but I have noticed that I do not grasp or contemplate a book if I read it too fast. I recommend using this book when you are praying the Way of the Cross. Maybe one chapter for each day you pray the Way of the Cross. Or read one chapter during Adoration. This book has a treasure chest of contemplation that one could be helped with spending time with the Lord. 

I am very certain many would enjoy this book. I cannot wait to read it again during Lent.
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"Living Memento Mori" is a truly inspirational book.  I have met Emily DeArdo, and knew a little about her CF and health struggles, but have learned so much more.  She has suffered so much in her life, and does an excellent job of relating her struggles to those of Jesus on The way of the Cross.   Ms. DeArdo's faith in God has brought her to a point in her life where  she can share her message through her gift of writing.  I love the way she uses biblical passages, as well as literature we can all relate to, from Harry Potter to Cinderella., to tie together Jesus" suffering with those of our own lives and how we might overcome them.  Reading this book has made me realize how blessed I am.  Yes, we all have our struggles but mine have been minor is comparison.  I have gained a real appreciation for the gift of life.
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When she was eleven years old, author Emily DeArdo was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, an incurable genetic disease with an average life expectancy of 30. In “Living Momento Mori,” DeArdo, now 37, reflects on living every day since then with a sense of “momento mori”—the knowledge that she will die—and recounts the struggles she has faced through a unique and innovative Stations of the Cross framework. 

I realize that this synopsis makes the book sound rather dour and serious, but nothing could be further from the truth—DeArdo’s lively voice animates the narrative, and the courage with which she has faced so many medical obstacles, including a double lung transplant, is inspiring. Her personal story alone would make this book worth reading in the same category as Paul Kalanithi’s “When Breath Becomes Air” or Julie Yip-Williams’ “The Unwinding of the Miracle,” but DeArdo layers in spiritual reflection and hard won practical advice on how to live with suffering that elevates “Living Momento Mori” to the level of essential life guide—whether that life includes a fatal illness or just the normal suffering and obstacles we all face every day. 

Religion and Spirituality is not an area I gravitate to at all, but “Living Momento Mori” transcends genre: It’s the story of an extraordinary woman facing extraordinary challenges, told in a fresh, funny and wholly original voice.  A must read and perfect as a Lenten devotional.

Thank you to NetGalley and Ave Maria Press for providing me with an ARC of this title in return for my honest review.
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