I grew up in the Deep South, and it was common for people to talk about the Civil War as if it was a current event rather than an event well deep into our nation's history. Granted for some old timers, it had not been that long ago, and they and certainly their parents had felt its influence.
The memory of this war produced a wide range of effects. A person could have nostalgia for a romantic version of the South that never existed, and others a sense of inferiority with a need to prove their worth to a larger nation.
I am not wise enough to know the place of such memory, nor how they should affect our present. In fact, as a nation we are not alone in this behavior. Other older nations can often hold onto and live in the presence of memories centuries old.
These memories do exist and we are wont to continue to live in them. For not only do the positive memories our life and ancestors shape us, those memories that are less than pleasant often force us to live in communion with the painful and negative.
Memory is powerful for it enables us to commune with the past, and then transform us into the likeness we commune with.
Knowing this truth, I must admit its power and look for ways to commune with a past that will shape me into the likeness of Christ.
Not being wise enough to be the doctor of my own soul, I must submit to something larger, wiser, and older than me, proven to produce results in those who live in Her memories.
The Church is this giver of memory that can shape me into the likeness of Christ.
Sharing Her memories through the events of Her year, and remembering the lives of Her members, who were transformed within Her, brings a confidence that I too can be transformed in the likeness of Her Head.
Imbibing Her memory is not a trip of nostalgia remembering the good old days but a participation in events that have become our own and bring us life.
We are shaped by memory--whether good or bad. Yet in the life of the Church, we can choose to adopt new memories that can make us whole and grant a new life.