Sunday, July 7, 2013

Truth: "a question of...deep memory"

The question of truth is really a question of memory, deep memory, for it deals with something prior to ourselves and can succeed in uniting us in a way that transcends our petty and limited individual consciousness. It is a question about the origin of all that is, in whose light we can glimpse the goal and thus the meaning of our common path (Lumen Fidei, par. 25)
To lose faith simply means to forget, or worse, to renounce memory, which, as Milan Kundera has so forcefully noted many times, is an evisceration of conscience.

Just think of the "unbaptize" movement that gained so much attention a few years back. Whatever the circumstances, even if it occurred when you were an infant and you have no personal, immediate memory of that event, if you were baptized, then you were baptized. It is a fact, something that really happened.

While you remain free, you cannot erase the fact, even the memory because you are not the only one who remembers. If nothing else, it is recorded in a big book that sits at the parish in which your baptism occurred and is, no doubt, recorded in heaven. We can rest secure in the fact that God remembers all. Jesus said: "Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows" (Matt. 10:29-31).

Hence, rooted in my own pastoral experience of helping to reconcile people back to the Church, even many who are understandably embittered, it seems to me that a big part of evangelization, at least in the U.S., is helping people remember their experience of what God has done for them in Christ.

Today as you celebrate the Eucharist do not forget that it is an act of calling to mind in order to make present (i.e., anamnesis). This is why, to quote Archbishop Javier Martínez, "the Eucharist is the only place of resistance to annihilation of the human subject." All of this even before considering what it means to deliberately forego participating in the Eucharist of a Lord's Day.

Lord, I remember. Help me in my forgetfulness!

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