Devotions based on Macrina’s Wiederkehr’s book, Gold in Your Memories
Sometimes we need a way to honor and name the sacred longings within us and seek new ways to ritualize our relationship with God and one another. A ritual is a way of celebrating who we are and to touch who we’ve been and who we’re becoming. On some of our ritual journeys we may discover pieces of forgiveness we didn’t know we possessed, or love and faith waiting to make their presence known. A ritual doesn’t have to be complex but may be something as simple as a poem, a song, or dance in which we express our feelings. It could be returning to the grave of a loved one, but even memories of pain can show us how far we have come on our journey. As John O’Donohue says, “Nothing is ever lost or forgotten. Everything is stored within your soul in the temple of memory. Therefore, as an old person, you can happily go back and attend your past time; you can return through the rooms of that temple, visit the days that you enjoyed and the times of difficulty where you grew and refined yourself.” We need to make use of the opportunities we have for ritual celebrations. The author herself celebrates her birthday once a month on the 28th by spending time in prayer, time with beauty, time to reflect gratefully on her birth etc. She has written poems of important people in her life and gone to their graves and let her feelings flow. Every event in life can be ritualized. Times of ritual celebration can become moments of integration and healing, helping us to connect with both joy and sorrow. Rituals have a way of living on in our memories.