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I turned to Him, saying: 'I put my trust in you - not dwelling on the past'.
As a non-Catholic child in a Catholic school, I used to look at the figure on the Cross, wondering who He was, and why He was there.
Christ helps us to look at our neighbour, not too much at ourselves. We are unwise if we dwell unnecessarily on past failures, spending too much time in our 'laundry bin'.
Wrong attitudes and old habits-of-mind can appear, like lumps showing through new wallpaper; firm preparation is needed for faith.
I saw a Â£5 guitar in the window of the music shop in Station Road, Amersham. Then I plucked up courage, and asked if my father would buy it for me, for my thirteenth birthday.
If we are ever overwhelmed by shame about our past lives, tempted to be despondent even though we are loved and forgiven, we can be sure that Christ wants us to remember His Apostles. Even Peter and others sinned - yet were chosen by God for His work.
If we are careless or uncharitable in some of our 'patterns' of thinking, speaking or acting, or just copy ways of behaviour picked up from our childhood models - we may have no malice, but still act in foolish ways, not realising how little we resemble Christ.
Christ brought to my mind the image of St. Peter, in my local church, saying: St. Peter did not let the memory of his own failures stop him from preaching repentance to other people. Christ asked me not to let the memory of my own sins hold me back from prayer and brave words by which I can help others to repent of their bad behaviour and find peace in and with Christ.
We can be helped to bear painful memories if we notice the spiritual growth that was the result of accepting and offering up those trials in union with Christ - even those caused by our own foolishness. All seems disastrous when a flower bud splits open; but only by that 'injury' can a beautiful flower emerge.
One of the tricks of the evil one is to stir up grim memories in our minds at times when we have every right to be joyful. He stirs up images of wrongs endured, sins long ago forgiven, and of dangers and even assaults long-forgotten. He cannot bear to see us being carefree and joyful in Christ.
Many people live parts of their lives in a cellar, keeping hidden various thoughts or activities or memories which they do not want anyone to bring out into the light. These are precisely what need to be dealt with before a person can lead a carefree life in Christ, as if in the happy home above the cellars.
Many people have tried to 'flush away' from their minds the memories of sins committed, and neither confessed nor forgiven - rather as tiny babies are flushed away from life, by abortion. It is better to repent now, than to look sadly upon our whole lives when we die.
God looks on with joy when people treasure their families, and treasure their heritage - which means their good traditions, memories, artefacts, cultural specialities and stories, though excluding what is evil, scandalous, or unwise, and not revering family practices to the point of idolatry.
A person who is plagued with unhappy memories can freely choose to avoid them, and to dwell on present joys, just as a sensible person who is extremely upset by distressing scenes in a cinema is free to leave, to go into the daylight and enjoy the real world outside that darkened enclosure.
Whether we suffer from frail minds, or assaults from the evil one, if sad memories of past times keep on cruelly returning, we can freely choose with God's help to turn away, and to dwell on present-day gifts and grace. We can be like a sensible person who, instead of staying in a cinema to finish watching a horrifying film, for 'entertainment', goes through the exit, to enjoy sunlight, and real life.
When we have emerged from sinful ways, as if from underground, it is important to strive fervently to stay in the path which leads to the distant mountain of sanctity. Our aim is to reach - by God's grace - the glory of God in Heaven; so we should keep walking, pausing only to put right those things we have done wrong; and we must keep our minds on Heavenly things, not on past sins or temptations.
Especially if we are doing important work for Christ, the evil one is capable of hurling painful memories to our imagination, trying to stir up our minds in fruitless speculation, so that we will lose trust in Christ and become miserable or afraid - or full of self-pity, or anxiety. We must not give in, but should focus our minds, by God's grace, on all the good things for which we can be thankful to God.
It is normal for grieving parents to want special memorials for their departed child; but they must not fear that the child will be forgotten if they do not arrange a new trust or a charity to perpetuate the child's name. God never forgets his children - whatever age they were, however they died, and whether or not people on earth find that memories fade, to their surprise or embarrassment.
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