Surrendering our Memory
Thanks to our memory we do not have to do any re-learning. We “re-member”, that is, put together varied past experiences, and build on remembered knowledge in academics, in relationships, in envisioning and strategizing our future progress. Memory is always personal, because no one else has experienced things – even similar ones – the way I have. Memories cannot be changed. Our memories can serve us constructively, confirming positive experiences or through positive re-thinking. We can, however, become their slaves by letting our past hurts, regrets and failures control our attitudes and behaviour.
In the Ignatian Suscipe I surrender “my” memory, entreating God to accept me as I am – with what I have been and done, and what others have been and done to me. I surrender “all”, including the negative human-spiritual experiences entrenched in my memory. Surrendering enables me to forgive and forget, both myself and others, and to entrust myself entirely to God’s unconditional mercy and grace. It frees me of past burdens so that I can make fresh beginnings.
When I entreat God to “take and receive” my memory, God’s Grace empowers me to make each remaining moment of my life a “memorable” one!
Hedwig Lewis SJ