A the beginning of a new civil calendar year, quite a few people are moved (at least for a while) to assess their lives and resolve (at least for a while) to make some changes. These changes are mostly about the usual things I don’t have to list.
Here’s an approach some might not have thought about.
Purification of memory.
The Enemy demons cannot read our minds, but they have access to our memories. Moreover, they remember what we have forgotten. The Enemy can throw obstacles in our path of spiritual growth through keeping us distracted by our memories…. of past accidents, of injuries and of our own sins.
We have to purify our memories, or rather allow God to purify them, and learn not to hold onto things that can hinder us. That doesn’t mean “forget”. It means putting them in the right context. Seeing them in a Christ-centered way, not a self-centered way. In a sense, clinging to injuries, wallowing in past sins is a form of “vanity” because it is all about “me”. It shoves Christ to the side, when He has to be at the center of those memories. Consider than continuing to rub one’s face with the mire of sins that you have sincerely confessed and been absolved for is a kind of denial of Christ’s power to forgive.
Of course there is a balance to be achieved with the help of grace and the development of virtues which helps us to do penance for past sins and acts of reparation for others while leaving the “mess” we are or were in to the ministration of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Do yourselves a favor.
Here is a link to a talk given by a good friend of mine, Fr. Cliff Ermatinger, a gifted speaker and writer. I’ve mentioned his books here, though not often enough. This talk is about:
The Goal of the Spiritual Life: Memory and Virtue.
It is the third part of a series.
He provides the audio and a careful outline of the talk:
[“Wow. Fr. Z used a really big font. He must think this is important!”]
I am confident that this talk will be beneficial for you no matter what stage you are at in your spiritual life.
HOWEVER… if you are really troubled by past injuries or your own past sins… I implore you to listen to it.
40 minutes of your life very well spent.
And… need it be said?
GO TO CONFESSION!