Momento Mori – the consolation of religion

I am finding that reminding people that they’re going to die does not go down well on twitter.

I write as a Christian and I write about consolation, the comfort of certainties in the future. I find consolation in my faith and though I am “high risk” , having recently had a life-threatening pulmonary disease, I face the future with optimism, certain in my faith

One essential message of the Christian religion are that the wages of sin are death. Christians believe in confronting the reality that we are all going to die. I have written this morning about 5 ways to keep calm about Coronavirus.

To me the worst thing about the future is uncertainty.  Here are some conclusions I’ve drawn about #Covid19

  • 80% of us will get it- you are not alone


  • Yes , this virus is going to cost you, but not enough to make you ill



  • If you get it now – lucky you.



  • If you get it later, it won’t seem so weird.



  • One day you’ll die, this is a wake up call .



Human kind – cannot bear very much reality.

Eliot’s comment in Four Quartets is suffeciently de-contextualised to have been used 1000 ways. I use it as it is written, we find it hard to face brutal truths about death (and taxes).

But religion helps us not just confront these truths, but to deal with reality. Death – whether it comes from this disease (statistically unlikely) or from something else, will come. We needed to be reminded of that – Momento Mori.

If we think about death , we can talk about death,  and we can deal with it. Whether it be through a funeral plan or a complex joint life second death whole of life plan, we can insure against the financial impact of our death. This is something that is worth doing as for a small premium we can relieve ourselves and others of a lot of stress.

As regards the five global risks we should worry about ….Global pandemic -Financial collapse -World war -Climate change -Extreme poverty, I have in my 58 years hardly been exposed to any. And yet I see  health-  solvency- peace – ECG and wealth distribution as things that I can be a part of.

I see #flatteningthecurve as a matter of personal hygiene (as far as I can influence it), others on that list I can influence more or less. But through prayer and good works I hope that I can influence others to get to a more peaceful , more sustainable and more equal world. We need to be reminded of all these things and I expect to be when I go to Church this morning.

I see the congregation of people at the Wesleyan Chapel (of  which I am a least deserving member) as a source of comfort to me and my partner Stella. We are the better for our congregation with others. We confront reality together and we confront it better – together.


A time to turn to Christ?

We are all scared right now, scared of getting ill and scared of dying of our illness. I urge those for whom the strain of anxiety is getting on top of them, to go to Church this morning, or this evening.

And if not to a Christian Church to your mosque, synagogue or temple. At Church we pray for the world and we pray for ourselves.

We will be mindful that in meeting together, we are putting ourselves at risk and if we cannot meet – because the risk is seen as too great, we will meet on the web. If you’d like to join us this morning (Sunday March 15th 2020), you can come to the Wesley’s Chapel in the City of London  or if you cannot come – you can join us via webstreaming  here

This too is consolation


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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1 Response to Momento Mori – the consolation of religion

  1. K M Jeary says:

    Er – I must be living in an alternate reality. What is inaccurate about the simple statement “You are going to die?” Unless the Zombies have taken over and I have yet noticed… Am I possibly going to become a Jane Austen era style zomboid?I

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