Memento mori (Latin: "remember that you have to die") It is a Roman Catholic practice of reflection on ones mortality, especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. Memento Mori has been an important part of ascetic disciplines as a means of perfecting the character by cultivating detachment and other virtues, and by turning the attention towards the immortality of the soul and the afterlife. The practice of receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday is a memento mori practice. And, in general, taking time to reflect on our mortality has proven to be a powerful and healthy impetus for spiritual growth. St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises include a meditation on death as a central contemplation during the first week. Every time we pray the Hail Mary, we finish with a prayer that reminds us that our earthly journey will indeed come to an end, sooner or later.