When I was a Catholic schoolboy, several hundred years ago, the custom of our teachers, each and every one a Sister of the Order of Preachers, was that if you forgot your lunch, or had it stolen under assault and occasionally battery, you were sent, curiously without ignominy, to the adjacent convent, where Sister Cook, a spherical woman with serious muscles, would make you a peanut butter and jam sandwich, or a peanut butter and honey sandwich, your choice; and you would eat your sandwich at the huge old wooden table in her kitchen, a table as big and gnarled as a ship, as she bustled about doing this and that, and she would offer you milk or water, your choice, and she never had a tart or testy word for you, but would even occasionally haul up a tall wooden stool to the table, and perch upon it, as golden dust and swirls of flour drifted through the redolent light, and ask you questions about your family, all of whom she knew, partly because your brothers and sister had sat at this same table, and eaten of the Sisters’ bread and honey. . . (The Thorny Grace of It, 167)
Memories stay with us because we attend to their details; we remember how things felt and sounded and tasted. In these ways they imprint themselves on our souls for safekeeping.
Today, pray for a memory to drift up to your consciousness—a memory filled with beauty or love or strength or bliss or peace. Invite the memory; then linger with it awhile. Give thanks, and celebrate your life.