These words from Deuteronomy 4:9 have a special resonance for me. “Do not forget the things your eyes have seen, … teach them to your children and your children’s children.”
There is something pivotal about remembering what God has done in our lives. In the difficult times in our life of faith when our prayer feels dry or we feel somehow disconnected from God, we tend to develop a kind of spiritual amnesia. St Ignatius encourages us to savour moments in our lives when we taste God’s goodness and to store them up – to get them to sink into our very bones, as one Jesuit I knew put it.
It can be helpful in remembering to reflect on our own faith story. How our life has unfolded and how we can see the golden thread of the consolations of God interwoven in all of the tapestry of our life’s experience. In taking the time to pray our faith story it can help to notice experiences and people that led me to a deeper sense of faith hope and love. As we go through our days it can be immensely helpful at the end of each day to notice where we have seen God’s blessings and God’s invitations. I love to keep a journal because it helps me to remember significant moments in my experience with God. When I am struggling in a time of spiritual desolation I can go back to my journals and re-read them and be reminded of the ways that God is working in my life.
And as we remember and hold onto what is most important, it deepens in us as we share it with others. It is in community, with close friends and family that we can come to know the gifts God has given us even more deeply. Family traditions of sharing what faith means to us are ways that we can “not forget the things our eyes have seen, nor let them slip from our hearts… but teach them to our children” – who I hope in turn will teach them to theirs too.