Memorise God’s Deeds: It will bring closeness in our lives—Pope Francis
It was you who brought me safely through birth, and when I was a baby, you kept me safe. I have relied on you since the day I was born, and you have always been my God (Pslams 22:9).
A priest was on a voyage to the Holy Land. The cruise was almost for six months. One day the priest was standing on the deck and talking to an old man. They went on discussing many topics and many hours passed. As darkness was descending the priest bid good bye because it was time for him to recite his rosary. The old man also went to the other side of the deck and opened his prayer book and began to pray. As the priest was walking along the deck reciting the rosary, he was struck very deeply by a certain kind of halo around the old man as he prayed. The priest approached the old man and said unintentionally, “You must be very close to God.” The old man smiled and said, “Yes, Yes. He is very fond of me.”
Pope Francis says that Christians should always ‘make a memory’ of how God has appeared in their lives. The Pope said that memories make us draw closer to God and remind us that they take us beyond the ancient splendor that Adam had in the first creation. “We must look back to see how God has saved us, follow – with our hearts and minds – this path with its memories and in this way arrive at Jesus’ side. It’s the same Jesus, who in the greatest moment of his life –in the (Last) Supper – gave us his Body and his Blood and said: ‘Do this in memory of me’. To remember how God saved us. “Memory makes us draw closer to God. The memory of that work which God carried out in us, in this recreation, in this regeneration, that takes us beyond the ancient splendor that Adam had in the first creation. I give you this simple advice: Memorize it! What’s my life been like, what was my day like today or what has this past year been like? It’s all about memory. What has my relationship with the Lord been like? It is nothing but our memories of the beautiful and great things that the Lord has carried out in the lives of each one of us.
In the Bible the book of Deuteronomy is ‘the book of the Memory of Israel.’ And we must do the same in our personal lives, he said.”It’s good for the Christian heart to memorize my journey, my personal journey: just like the Lord who accompanied me up to here and held me by hand. And the times I said to our Lord: No! Go away! I don’t want you! Our Lord respects our wishes. He is respectful. “But we must memorize our past and be a memorial of our own lives and our own journey. We must look back and remember and do it often. ‘At that time God gave me this grace and I replied in that way, I did this or that… He accompanied me.’ And in this way we arrive at a new encounter, an encounter of gratitude.” We must thank Jesus from the heart because he has always been close, despite having disowned him.
Did you know God is thinking about you right now? He thinks about you constantly. You are always on His mind. Do you know what He’s thinking? He’s not thinking about all that you’ve done wrong in your life. No, He’s thinking about the good things He has in store for your future. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that His thoughts are for our good. His plans are to prosper us and to give us a good future and a hope. Do you know what else He’s thinking? He’s thinking about how much He loves you. He’s not mad at you; He’s madly in love with you! Let that love bring security to your heart and mind. St. Paul says that perfect love casts out all fear. Just take a deep breath right now and breathe in His love and peace. When you receive His love, it drives out fear and gives you confidence to embrace the good things He has in store for your future.
O God, how difficult I find your thoughts; how many of them there are! If I counted them, they would be more than the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you (Psalms 139:17).
God’s love is not one sided but it is a mutual give and take. If you love God, then you must be able to feel God’s love flowing towards you and feel His presence all around you. The more you are open to God the more your attitude becomes transparent and God’s love flows easily to you and your unconditional love to Him. When you are filled with God’s presence more winds of existence start flowing in and out of you. The culmination of God’s love is when you allow God to find you. The whole trip of prayer and meditation is about feeling the presence of God. Those who have put their trust in God will come to understand the truth of his ways. Those who have been faithful will live with him in his love, for he is kind and merciful to the ones whom he has chosen (Wisdom 3:9).
One night a man had a dream that he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his past life. Each time he noticed that there were two sets of footprints on the sand; one belonging to him and another to the Lord. But he noticed that sometimes there was only one set of footprints. And as he could recall, this was always during the saddest and hardest days of his life. This bothered him and he complained to the Lord and said, “Lord you told me that once I decided to follow you, you would walk with me all the way. But now I have noticed that during the most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why you left me just at the times when I needed you most.”
The Lord replied, “My child, I never left you at all during those times. You see only one set of footprints, because during those hard times I lifted you up and carried you.”
I am your God and will take care of you until you are old and your hair is grey. I made you and will care for you; I will give you help and rescue you (Isaiah 46:4).