Memory

Question Mark

Memory is wonderful. We may re-live the days of our lives whenever we choose, returning time and again to the happiest, revisiting the sad days knowing that they are in the past, the worst is over.

Do you ever ask yourself about living such days again – a favourite hour, day, holiday, a wonderful year, a favourite period of time? All there, the memory holds them. In heaven, we shall gladly return to those memories and the joys and sorrows and forgiveness that they may hold.

We can’t change the past but we can change our attitudes towards it. If you have much to regret you have learned some of life’s lessons and that learning might have made you a better person. If you have always been good and even perfect you must be unbearable, so rejoin the human race and look honestly at what others remember, not what you remember. “Sbagliando, s’impara” say the Italians: “Mistaking, one learns: you learn by your mistakes.” Good advice. The problems come when we have to learn by others’ mistakes and we don’t like that. That must be the reason for many family upsets when they all think/know they are (in the) right. It’s easier to be perfect and always right when there is no one else around. It’s always other people spoil the image.

Would you be better living alone, only yourself to criticise, only the TV or radio to shout at? A lovely elderly lady told me how much she missed telling off her husband. I was surprised. He didn’t mind, she said, he’d become used to it. I wondered if he rolled his eyes as women are able to do when the husband is going on and on.

Do you go on and on? About what? Why not write it all down. “I could write a book,” people sometimes say as they pause for breath. What a good idea. Write a book. It’ll keep you occupied and quiet for hours on end and we can all share your memories. Wonderful gift, memory. God-given. Not enough appreciated. Just wait for heaven and all the memories we shall share for ever and ever . . .

Happy New Year of happy new memories.

God bless you,

Fr John

(29th December 2019)

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