Day 16: Keepsakes

Begin with the Prayer of Abandonment.

When my mother came to live with us, everything she owned in the world was packed into the back of our van and unloaded into the little suite we had created in the corner of our walk-out basement: a dresser, a bed, a beautiful old desk, a wooden chest, and a bookshelf full of old photo albums and treasured books. Her most cherished possession was her wedding ring, which had grown too small for her but she insisted on wearing. She and my father were no longer living as a married couple … but she cherished the memory of him. And so, the ring stays on.

As human beings, we are body-soul composites; the stuff of life conveys emotions and memories that can last a lifetime. What can you be doing today to show that you treasure your partner through the honoring of the memories of your life together — and forgiving and laying to rest the skeletons of the past?

How are you tracking your memories? Do you keep photographs and scrapbooks Collect recipes or newspaper clippings? Or do you collect memories of other more troubling kinds? Do you harbor grudges, regrets, and deep-rooted offenses that have, over time, built a wall between the two of you?

During Lent the Church prescribes going to confession to prepare ourselves for the Easter feast. If after reading this, you are reminded of some toxic “keepsakes” that need to be consigned to the dustbin, why not go as a family to receive the sacrament of reconciliation? Make a celebration of it – go out for a treat afterwards. You will be so glad you did!

Has it been a long time since you’ve been to confession? Don’t worry. The priest will be glad to help you through it.  Here is a little “cheat sheet” to help you prepare —  you can just print it out and take it with you. And know that the angels are waiting to cheer!

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