Over dinner with a friend, our conversation turned to the question of what's worth storing in archives. We were speaking about parish records and documents but it got me to thinking about another kind of depository for records and memorabilia from the past: the archives we keep in our hearts and minds and memories.
I know that my personal archives go deep into my past. I'm quite sure I've not yet visited all the rooms and vaults there - and the history of my life they keep. Some reflection on this might help us as we Pause for Prayer today...
When I go to my heart's archives, what do I find there?
Have I locked up some files that need to see the light of day?
files that need to be aired in the mercy of your healing?
Are there entries in my archives I need to bring to prayer,
to my conversation with you?
Do I find some records of my past that need reconciling?
Do I tend to consult only the archives of my disappointments?
Do I get stuck there?
Are there archives of joy I need to open again,
and open more often?
Send your Spirit
to help me open up what I need to see again
and to put away, finally, what I no longer need to consult...
When I go to my personal archives,
help me remember that what's stored there is history, the past,
that I live in the present moment
and need not be chained to what was...
Help me read in the files of my archives
the story of how God has always been with me,
even and especially in those times
when I may have thought God had abandoned me...
Help me search for the files that tell the story
of my faith, my endurance, my desire to live and to grow...
Open the files that tell the stories of those who have loved me,
cared for me and watched out for me...
Help me find the records of my joy
as quickly as I can locate the files of my sadness...
Help me remember
that you already know everything stored in my archives,
(the good and the bad)
and yet you love me still, wanting always
to forgive, heal, refresh and restore me to your heart...
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