Wavelength Week 2: Our Memory

Dear brothers and sisters,

This is the second week of our October series, which is all about our thinking. A major part about growing as a disciple of Jesus Christ is growing to think as God thinks. When we do so, then we will more easily do as God says. Last week, we kicked off the series by looking at our “brainfood” – how are we currently feeding our thoughts? We were challenged to take an inventory of what we read, what we watch, what we listen to, and who are our friends and conversations, and how we can grow to feed our minds and thoughts with what is good, honorable, and true.

This week we are looking at our memory, and how important is “remembrance” when it comes to seeing the world from God’s perspective. This is illustrated in the Book of Exodus, the great story of God’s deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, to freedom. The people are not grateful for God’s deliverance; they constantly complain, and they even forget God. In their forgetfulness, as Moses is on the mountain with God, the people worship the golden calf, and this changes everything; the Israelites are now separated from the Lord and his glory. Moses steps up and intervenes before the Lord on their behalf, so that God does not destroy and abandon his own people. Then, Moses renews his commitment to lead them to the Promised Land, and perhaps needing some encouragement, he says to the Lord God: “Please let me see your glory!” The LORD answered: “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim my name, “LORD,” before you; I who show favor to whom I will, I who grant mercy to whom I will. But you cannot see my face, for no one can see me and live” (Exodus 33:18-20). Moses asks to catch a glimpse of God’s glory, and the Lord in his mercy says “yes.” However, there’s a caveat: But you cannot see my face, for no one can see me and live. Here, continued the LORD, is a place near me where you shall station yourself on the rock. When my glory passes I will set you in the cleft of the rock and will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand, so that you may see my back; but my face may not be seen (33:21-23). Moses was only allowed to see the back of the Lord, and as the story goes on, after this encounter with God’s glory, Moses had to wear a veil over his face, because his face reflected and shined so brightly, that it blinded the Israelites.

Most often, we too cannot look directly at God’s face, just as we can’t look directly at the sun. This is true, especially during time of COVID-19, because our opportunities to pray before the Blessed Sacrament are limited. However, God’s glory is reflected all around us, just like the rays of the sun, if we take the time to notice. There are many moments each and every day in our lives that reflect God’s glory. Often times it is only in hindsight and in retrospect that we do notice, because in the busy-ness of our lives, we fail to remember and to ponder these many experiences as they occur. This is why it is so important for all of us to have a daily prayer routine in which we examine the course of our day. St. Ignatius of Loyola called this an examen. It could be done 5 minutes a day, either in the morning or in the evening. To begin this daily examen, I offer this simple prayer so that we grow more and more to be on God’s wavelength, a “Prayer of Light:” God, grant me the light to see myself as you see me. Then, there are three simple steps in which we review our day, or “play the movie” of the past 24 hours, in our thoughts before God: (1) we express gratitude and thanksgiving for the blessings of the day; (2) we express sorrow and repent for the ways that we have fallen short of God’s glory; (3) we put our petitions and needs for ourselves and for others before God. The daily examen is an indispensable tool in helping us to grow to think as God thinks. Questions for reflection:

1. We often say hindsight is 20/20. Why is it that we often understand our lives better in retrospect?

2. Read aloud Exodus 33:18-20. Why do we see God, and what God was doing in our lives, better in retrospect?

3. Think through your day yesterday. What is something you can thank God for? What is a petition you need to make to God? What is something you need to pray for?

4. Who is someone you need to lift up in prayer that you encountered over the last 24 hours?

5. When would be the best time and place for you to review your day and ask for God’s perspective on it?

With blessings,

Fr. Reichlen

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Church of St. John 

Love God, Love People, Make Disciples

Church of St. John

570-223-9144 Ext. #2


5171 Milford Rd.

E. Stroudsburg, PA 18302

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