18 March, 2020

Do not forget the things your eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your heart all the days of your life, teach them to your children and your children’s children.

~ Deuteronomy 4:9 ~

Deuteronomy 4:1,5-9; Psalm 147; Matthew 5:17-19

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.

 

Gracious God,

 

May I remember your goodness to me, this day, and all the days of my life.

 

May I share the gift of faith with the children in my life.

 

Amen.

 

Catholic Parliamentary

Liaison Office

Jesuit Institute
South Africa

This reflection has been adapted from Have Mercy, O Lord! Daily Reflections for Lent by Grant Tungay SJ, Russell Pollitt SJ, Annemarie Paulin-Campbell, Puleng Matsaneng, Anthony Egan SJ and Frances Correia, & published by the Jesuit Institute South Africa in 2016.

Reflection prepared by

Fr Matthew Charlesworth SJ

Fr Matthew Charlesworth SJ entered the Society of Jesus in 2005 and underwent the usual course of studies in his formation, which took him to such varied places as Canada, France, Ireland, Kenya, Spain, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Whilst working at the Institute, Matthew managed the background technical aspects of much of the Institute's work and was involved in the Spirituality work, completing the Advanced Spiritual Directors Training Course and the Spiritual Exercises Training run by the Institute. He is a member of Spiritual Directors International and was also a part-time lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St Augustine College of South Africa. He is currently the Director of Communications for the Jesuits in Southern Africa, based in Lusaka, Zambia.

m.charlesworth@jesuitinstitute.org.za @mcharlesworth
See more from Matthew Charlesworth SJ

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