“Keep all special thoughts and memories for lifetimes to come. Share these keepsakes with others to inspire hope and build from the past, which can bridge to the future.” ~ Mattie Stepanek
Memories are so very important to our health and well-being. They ground us, give us hope, and help us to face the day ahead. We have experienced that for ourselves in the life of the Church. The memories of the saints that we have institutionalized have provided strength, courage, and comfort to people throughout the ages. When we recount these very powerful memories, we can practically see our favorite saints standing beside us or going before us.
Of course, we often do the same with our own dear loved ones. Just because we may have lost a parent, spouse, child, or dear friend to death doesn’t mean that we cannot recount story after story about them. When we do think about our loved ones, we often feel that they are present to us, sitting next to us or standing right beside us. You know what? They are. That is what we call the Communion of Saints.
The dead should not be forgotten nor should our memories of them be diminished. They can be present to us at any moment of the day and they can intercede for us to our Lord. Sadly, because of grief, some people try to suppress their memories of those who have gone before them. Remembering them is too painful so they engage in an attempt to forget. The problem is that we can never truly forget and the act of trying places more stress on us than if we would allow grief to wash over us.
Grief, after all, is filled with memories of its own and it, too, can help us to remember the love that we shared with people now departed. Allowing the memories to come to us will help us to heal and give us the opportunity to relish the memories we have. Sharing those memories with others provides another opportunity to keep our loved ones alive in our thoughts.
We don’t speak about people we will never see again. That is the importance of memories. They remind us that one day we will be reunited with those of precious memory. What a glorious day awaits!
FAITH ACTION: Cherish your memories of loved ones, especially those long past, and do not be afraid to share them with others.