Just remember

The eyes of a child.  Image courtesy of pixabay.com

Everything about God and humanity comes down to this: remembering

Our lives are all about remembering who God is and who He says we are.  It is about remembering His Word and promises to us, then reinforcing this and allowing it to dwell deep within us until it becomes an automatic habit in our day.  This means that we must create time and space each day for remembering this so that we can grow and flourish.  God’s Word must find a home in us and stay on fire there, like a bright candle in a dark room or burning wood within a fireplace.  It is when we forget who God is and how He loves us that we can easily fall into a dark place and sin, because we become distracted by other things that lead us away from Him and tie ourselves up in knots of worry, fear, and despair.

It is important to be committed to a routine of daily prayer upon rising, while working, studying, or during recreation, and finally at night before sleeping.  We can choose a word or phrase from Scripture, memorise it, and repeat it throughout the day, or write it down and take it with us wherever we go.  Or we can pray the Liturgy of the Hours (also known as the Divine Office) which is not just for priests and religious, but for everyone! If we feel troubled, in pain, or joyful, we can also choose something from the Bible that will address that situation (a useful tool here can be a topical Bible).  Contemplation and silence are crucial for remembering.  Also notice in Scripture how Our Blessed Mother often pondered over things silently to herself.

Remembering God is all about understanding Who He is – His attributes, qualities, love for us, essence and His very Person.  Jesus said to St Faustina Kowalska:

Who God is in His Essence, no one will fathom, neither the mind of Angels nor of man. Jesus said to me, Get to know God by contemplating His attributes.  A moment later, He traced the sign of the cross with His hand and vanished.” (Divine Mercy in My Soul, St Faustina’s Diary, entry #30). 

As with any friend or family member, if you want to love them more you need to spend time getting to know them and thinking about them.  You might take time to look at their picture to recall their face, smile, eyes, and voice.  The same applies to Jesus, Mary, and the Holy Trinity.

Remembering God is also about remembering who you are to Him.  Part of understanding God is understanding His purpose and plan for us, which is to love us and bring us to live with Him in heaven.  He aches for this.  He aches for you.  He does not want you to follow the other guy (you know, the evil one who hates you).  He wants a personal relationship with you because He loved you into creation.  He wants you to know that He thinks of you personally in every moment.  Again, we must turn to Scripture for this to remind ourselves of His love, mercy, and greatness.

There is also another side to remembering which is very important – but this time our recollection is to be used as a spiritual weapon.  We need to remember that evil exists and that the devil wants to crush our faith and our thoughts about God.  The evil one wants you to forget about God and turn to temporary ‘fixes’ which will never satisfy you.

Satan wants you to think that hell is a fairytale or that he is just a funny character in a cartoon. But remembering that he is also real and trying to defeat humanity can actually have the opposite effect, if you let it.  It can increase our zeal for God when you understand that Satan is poison.  We would do anything to keep ourselves away from harmful things if we knew that they would destroy us, right? (Like the Coronavirus – I have heard it referred to many times as a “wicked, invisible, insidious enemy”.)  So then, like scientists who have been studying this virus in a lab to defeat it, we also need to understand the evil one’s ways in order to fight and counter his attacks. 

Understand how the devil attacks you (for example, through fear, negative thoughts, arguments, doubt, division, etc) so you can conquer him through the Sacraments, prayer, holy activities, Words from Scripture, etc.  The Church and priests should talk more about the devil – not to scare people, but to encourage Catholics to become smart and well-informed warriors (not worriers) and soldiers for Christ.

Always go back to Scripture and find the patterns of remembrance there.  For instance, Psalm 77 (78)  includes these verses (italics are my emphasis):

  • 11 – “They forgot what he had done”
  • 35 – “They remembered that God was their rock”
  • 39 – “He remembered that they were but flesh”
  • 42 – “They did not keep in mind his power”

If you need further evidence from Scripture, take a look at these passages.

Before reading further, please take a moment to reflect on this video:

Beyond and above all, we need to know and repeat to ourselves that God loves us and that we are His beloved.  Over time this will renew our minds and have a profound impact upon our lives and mental wellbeing.  If we are fixed on His love, what do we have to fear?

“I was traveling and far from home and lonely, and I awoke in the night almost on the verge of weeping with a sense of futility, of being unloved and unwanted.

And suddenly the thought came to me of my importance as a daughter of God, daughter of a King, and I felt a sureness of God’s love.

And at the same time a conviction that one of the greatest injustices, if one can put it that way, which one can do to God is to distrust his love, not realize his love. God so loved me that he gave his only begotten son. ‘If a mother shall forget her children, never will I forget thee.’ Such tenderness, and with such complete ingratitude we forget the Father and his love!”
 — Dorothy Day, On Pilgrimage (quote from Facebook – Sr Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP)

I Remember

In the darkest hour when I cannot breathe
Fear is on my chest, the weight of the world on me
Everything is crashing down, everything I had known
When I wonder if I’m all alone

I remember, I remember
You have always been faithful to me
I remember, I remember
Even when my own eyes could not see
You were there, always there

I will lift my eyes even in the pain
Above all the lies, I know You can make a way
I have seen giants fall, I have seen mountains move
I have seen waters part, because of You

I remember
I remember
You have always been faithful to me
I remember
I remember
Even when my own eyes could not see
You were there, always there

I can’t stop thinking about
I can’t stop thinking about
I can’t stop thinking about
Your goodness

I can’t stop thinking about
I can’t stop thinking about
I can’t stop thinking about
Your goodness

I can’t stop thinking about
I can’t stop thinking about
I can’t stop thinking about
Your goodness

I can’t stop thinking about
I can’t stop thinking about
I can’t stop thinking about
Your goodness

I remember
I remember
You have always been faithful to me
I remember
I remember
Even when my own eyes could not see
You were there, always there with me

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