It seems to me that so many in the world is obsessed with forgetting. Forgive and forget – the world tells us. No wonder it has been a constant struggle for some. I have recognized early on that when I want to remember a certain something and try really hard that eventually I will remember. But no matter how hard I try to forget I cannot do it consciously at will. It is against my nature. I have a memory. My maker installed that in me. I was made to remember.
In fact the general consensus of the scientific community in our modern world is that forgetting in the form of amnesia, dementia, Alzheimer’s and the like are disabilities, even classified as diseases. It is not our healthy normal. The common advice to ‘forgive and forget’ is not only difficult, but impossible for a healthy and normal person. I’m beginning to think that means, somehow, only the psychologically incapacitated are capable of that…
When it comes to this viewpoint I’d like to think in the mind of the Church. See, the preservers and guardians of the teachings and traditions of the Church get it. They know the beauty in remembering. That is why we celebrate feast days and holy days of obligation. We are a culture of remembrance. The foundation and founder of the Catholic Church said “Do this in memory of me”. He wants me to remember.
My personal choice is that I will treat forgiveness of offenses in the same light – I will forgive and remember. Remember not the offense but remember that I have forgiven. Humans are imperfect and bound to disappoint. But if I remember that I have forgiven before, then whenever I need to again, then I know I can forgive again because I have done it before.
My belief is if my Maker wants me to forget He wouldn’t have given me a memory. So instead of going against my nature I will embrace it. I will forgive and remember… and imbed that in my heart and soul and forget-it-not for life.