After yesterday’s post on memory I spent some more time thinking about the concept of anamnesis, the fancy theological word for remembering in the Eucharist. Because I study liturgy I feel like I have to understand that word, but in truth I have never had a great grasp on it.
So last night, since I’m at my parents’ house, I grabbed the huge dictionary that is itself teeming with memory. As I turned its pages I remembered the other books of my youth. My mother’s old missal that I pored over endlessly, with no inkling that I’d end up “doing Church” professionally. The weathered copy of Make Way for Ducklings that my mother read to me until she knew it by heart, not knowing that someday I’d end up living just a few miles from its setting. The children’s version of the wedding feast at Cana, titled “The Feast the Almost Flopped” with a combination of levity and devotion that have marked my spirituality ever since.
In these objects, stuffed with grace, my memories live, stored for when I need them. If nostalgia and painful memories are the price I have to pay for these treasures, so be it.