Reminiscing with an old friend can be very enjoyable. It can also be quite amusing when certain incidents come to mind. A memory decades old can make us laugh and also shed light on how patterns of life are established. For instance, my friend and I attended grammar school with Ursuline nuns as our teachers. Mother Bernadette was particularly strict. I still recall the Sunday morning many, many years ago when she reprimanded my cousin and me because she caught us giggling at Mass. We had been sitting in the section reserved for school children and something struck us funny. Mother Bernadette told us that if we did that again we would: “face a stern punish task!” We were not sure what that meant exactly, but I still remember her threat!
At that same school, when I was in eighth grade, Mother Regina Marie would frequently lecture my class frequently on the merits of becoming all we can be, using our God-given gifts and talents. Her speeches seemed more like admonitions than encouraging pep talks. She would repeatedly emphasize: “Don’t vegetate….live!”
My husband remembers that when he was a youngster he would go with his father and uncles to their hunting camp in the Pennsylvania woods. One day, he thought he was becoming lost in the woods, not realizing that his uncle knew his whereabouts. He recalls his Uncle Al telling him, “If you think you are lost, always go downhill, because water flows downhill and that leads to civilization.”
Over time, we remember such warnings, good advice, and rules to follow. One statement that the followers of Jesus have remembered for thousands of years is, “Do this in memory of me.” We have relived the Last Supper miracle countless times so that the faithful can be spiritually nourished. How grateful we all should be as, at Mass, the priest quotes the words of Jesus at the Consecration!
At yesterday’s liturgy, we read from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians about the peace of God:
Brothers and sisters: Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and
petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace
of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in
Christ Jesus. (4:6-7)
It might be a good idea to memorize that particular Bible quote to remind ourselves how to access the peace of God. With so many challenges and threats in our troubled world, we need to pray to the Holy Spirit to help find the holy peace Jesus promised us. We could start our prayer with a quote from the beginning of the sequence we prayed at Pentecost:
Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a Ray of light divine!
(Bible quote from the New American Bible, New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.)