Some time ago, I read a story about a doctor’s conversation with a Patient with terminal cancer. The patient was expressing Fear of dying, mainly because of the fear of the unknown. At that moment, there was a commotion at the door, as the sound of clawing and yelping was heard. A split second later, a dog burst in, bounding into the doctor’s office and with as much enthusiasm as a dog can display, ran up to her master, the doctor, and pounced. As he knew the patient not only from his work but saw him at the same church, the doctor took the moment to demonstrate the lesson. “You notice how impatient my dog was to get here?” the doctor asked. He continued, “My dog has never been in here. In fact, she has never been here before. She did not know what waited for him on the other side of the door, but she heard my voice. She knew that I was in here. She knew the voice of his master, she knew the love of her master, and she had no fear. She just wanted to be with me.” The doctor paused, choking back his tears, realizing the power of that moment for both his patient and himself, “I imagine death is like that. We don’t know what’s on the other side, but we hear the voice of our master, and we should want to be with Him so much that we have no fear.” The patient wiping away tears of relief, was moved by the example to silent pondering. This month, at least in the Catholic Church, we remember all who have died. It gives us a pause to remember those who have passed with fondness, and to pray for them. But it is also a chance for us to remember that we, too are going to die. This can bring us tremendous fear, or it can bring us tremendous peace. Like the doctor and his dog, if we know the voice of the Lord and listen to that voice, we have nothing to fear, and while we do not hasten to see Him before He calls us, we also do no fear that day. This is the true meaning of the phrase, “Memento mori” - Remember death. We call to mind that we are gong to die, and we make decisions based on that eternal perspective. While it is a sobering thought, it is also tremendously freeing. St. John tells us in his first letter that we are God’s children now, and that the world does not know this because they do not know Him. But St. John continues that what we are to be is yet to be revealed, and when it is, we shall be like God for we shall see Him as He is. We hear the voice of the Master, we don’t know what waits, but we know Who waits for us, and that He waits as a loving Father, ready to embrace us as beloved children and something more, something beyond our wildest imaginations. So we remember death, but also remember that death is conquered by Christ. We have nothing to fear.