Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I remember after dad died wondering whether memory was a blessing or a curse. Some thoughts were so sweet and real, that I reached out, eyes closed and arms extended, to futilely and longingly hug my long gone father. Other times, I would see pictures or videos in which he strutted the stage falsely - he was no longer alive - and I wished my memory would fade. The water of my tears could not spring new life from the graves of the dead. The photo albums gathered dust. My cheeks remained dry. I took the "me" out of memory.
I was reading a post at Dawn Eden's site today (The Dawn Patrol) featuring a great quote from an article by (then) Cardinal Ratzinger on the importance of memory:
"[It] is only the person who has memories who can hope. . . . Recently a counselor who spends much of his time talking with people on the verge of despair was speaking in similar terms about his own work: if his client succeeds in recalling a memory of some good experience, he may once again be able to believe in goodness and thus relearn hope; then there is a way out of despair. Memory and hope are inseparable. To poison the past does not give hope: it destroys its emotional foundations."