Spirituality for Today – October 2008 – Volume 13, Issue 3

Editorial – Remembrance

By Rev. Raymond K. Petrucci

A photo of 2 horses grazing in a field with a backdrop of autumn colorsNature is shedding its summer clothes and looks to don the fashion of autumn and the approaching winter. In my opinion, Connecticut wears its most beautiful attire during these seasons. Holidays beckon and a spirit of amiability enters one's heart. An old instrumental by Roger Williams plays again in one's mind. A sensation of crispness and a scent of deep woods pervade the air. A time of memories has come.

The older that one becomes and the more that the people and the places one knew begin to pass from sight, the gift of remembrance grows in stature. Life becomes most personal when walking through the breezy meadows of memory. The way individuals and events touched and formed one's life move into place for review and appreciation. The impressions made by family and friends glimmer as bright jewels along the long path to maturity. Remembering, at last, is perceived not simply as a consideration of the past, but as a fuel for the present. Everyone and everything worthy of remembering has added to the character of the person one becomes. It is in daily life that the past takes an active role in the present.

Difficult times call upon a people to make sacrifices, to use their creativeness to solve the pressing problems of the day, to draw upon their courage and their faith to sustain them. These are the times when people "remember." They remember the God they worship and the beliefs and values upon which they stand. They remember the things worth living and dying for. They remember who they thought they were and who they wanted to be. Through remembering, they know what it takes to be victorious; they know what to affirm and what to negate. As it were, they become expert seamen in the struggle to right the ship. Indeed, they become fully human.

The strong men keep coming on.
They go down, shot, hanged, sick, broken.
They live on fighting, singing, lucky as plungers.
The strong mothers pulling them on?
The strong mothers pulling them
from a dark sea, a great prairie, a long mountain.
Call hallelujah, call amen, call deep thanks.
The strong men keep coming on.

– Carl Sandburg

What is the greatest thought, inspiration, or fact to remember? What is the taproot from which all that is required is drawn? I remember! For me and for all of the most important people in my life, that cornerstone is Jesus Christ. Someone once said: "A true Christian is a man who never for a moment forgets what God has done for him in Christ."

What Christ has done for us is to save us from every fear, every falsehood, and every threat to our immortal soul, and to love us into eternal life. What more could be hoped for? What remembrance more sought? From a time and a place that hardly is heaven, we depend on the ancient and yet ever new indwelling of the Spirit to help us leave a memorial of true service to God and neighbor. The seasons come and go. We grow. We pray. We remember.