Thursday of the Eighth Week of Ordinary Time

When I was very young, only just able to walk, our family was on a trip to the Grand Canyon. I decided to exercise my newfound powers of mobility and began wandering towards the edge – my sister saw me and ran to get me before I got too close. As the family story goes, she saved me from wandering off the edge!

There’s no way I could have remembered the story – yet I have a clear picture of the brownish dirt, the grey metal railing (evidently insufficient to restrain a toddler) and even my sister’s hairstyle. These memories, I suppose, were formed later – by looking at pictures of the trip and hearing the story again and again.

For St. Ignatius, memory is a basic fundamental of prayer. When we spend time contemplating the Gospels, we insert ourselves into the scene as if we were really there. We are instructed to take the place of one of the characters, literally remembering it as if we were there. Over time, our lives merge into the Gospel’s narratives. Christ’s story becomes our story, and our story becomes Christ’s story. This is the transforming power of prayer.

May 30th, 2013