Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Week VI - Day 2 - The Memory Cup

Nancy Wood - Santa Fe
Photographer and Poet
Going from this place to another place is like the bird in winter who remembers the beauty of her Springtime nest just to keep herself from freezing. ~ Nancy Wood

Joyce writes that the gift of our memory is something we probably rarely think about until we get to the age where we have trouble remembering.
"Memory enables us to recall our blessings (our touches of God), to give thanks for them, and to grow because of them. Good memories can encourage us, warm us on a cold day, and help us to keep hope in our hearts. They serve as a way to keep us connected. " (Joyce Rupp, The Cup of Life, p 137)
Were sooo good!
There are times, that I am amazed by how Joyce's readings coincide with things that happen in my own life. Last evening I discovered a large murel mushroom in my back yard.  I bent down to pick it, but thought, "One mushroom isn't going to go very far" and I straightened back up.  But, straightening back up, I noticed four more!

I cannot remember the last time I have eaten a morel mushroom!

I gathered them in my t-shirt and brought them in to soak them in salt water, dip in egg and cornmeal...and fry in a small skillet. I took my plate of mushrooms in to my lazyboy and slowly ate each one.  Looking at that plate of mushrooms, savoring the taste of each bite...images from my childhood flooded my heart.  Searching for mushrooms...sorting mushrooms...breadiing them and eating them... sounds of laughter all filled my mind.  At the time I thought of the blessing of good memories.  This morning...The Memory Cup.
"As Christians we gather around a memory every time we meet to share the eucharist. When Jesus blessed the bread and the cup of wine at the Passover Meal he said to those who were dear to his heart: 'Do this in remembrance of me' (Lk22:19). The pwer of this story has reamined to this day because of the way memory has carried it from one genration to another, The cup of wine has become a 'memory cup,' holding the story of One whose life was poured out for all humanity. It has become the cup of sacrifce, the cup of love, the cup of unity. This cup has given strength and restored hope to many a weary spriritual traveler."
Joyce talks as to how our ability to remember is a precious gift. I have a greater appreciation for that insight since my car accident twelve years ago. While my memory has improved, there are so many things that are difficult for me to recall.  After my uncle passed the pastor asked each of us individually for memories.  I told him the only way I can pull anything out of my dark closets is by listening to others and then MAYBE a spark will begin to burn with images and feelings.
"Without memory we would be unable to savor the good things that have happened to us and for us. Without memory we would be unable to be healed from past painful situations." (Rupp, p 138)
That is true! It is very strange to be in a group of friends or family as they begin to laugh or cry, remembering a particular situation or person....while I strive to connect their words to something...anything!

Most of us have an abundance of images, feelings, people....stored within our heads.  While some memories create a warm sense of God-ness within your heart, there are others that are not pleasant.  There are dark memories that I am all to happy to keep hidden.  Yet, Joyce suggests that those memories may be crying for our attention.
"Perhaps they need to be dealt with and put to rest. Eventually we need to move on from our sad and distressing memories and focus on the memories that are consoling and strengthening for us." (Ibid)
Good memories can "fill" us with hope.
For today, Joyce asks that I sift through my memories...for me to be the gatekeeper of these memories.  It is like she is saying, "Sandi, catch the ones that draw forth and enhance your core goodness. Savor them. Let these blessed memories fill you with hope.

Breathing in: I remember...
Breathing out: ...your love for me

Praying over/with a pleasant memory.
Hold the blessing cup in your hands.
Let it be filled with memories.
Choose one memory of love and happiness.
Let this memory pervade your entire being.
Receive the renewed inner strength it offers you.
Write a word for this memory on a piece of paper.
Place the word in your memory cup today.
Thank God for this memory.

Scripture: Deuteronomy 4:9-20
But take as neither to forget the tings that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children's children. (Dt 4:9)

Go back to the memory that came to you as you prayed with the memory cup. Write down any thoughts and feelings about this memory that you want to store in your heart today.
How has this memory been a blessing to you?
Dear Bestower of Blessings,...

Go back to the memory that came to you as you prayed with the memory cup. Write down any thoughts and feelings about this memory that you want to store in your heart today.  The memory of a surprise visit...I remember feeling awed that I mattered so much to this individual! I knew the words had been said, yet the visit took me totally by surprise.  Looking back I can recognize there was a sense of feeling vulnerable in the other, something I am fairly sure was a new feeling!  People often do not make wise choices in their decisions regarding relationships, me included.  Yet, looking back at that night and many others, love was there!  I was loved.

How has this memory been a blessing to you? Normally, thinking about those days, I put them down as "nostalgia", a totally unproductive and useless waste of my time.  However, this morning, praying over that memory and a few others that arose as well I have a sense of reassurance that I was not just totally stupid. Judging myself harshly is one of my most persistent demons. Praying, it is like that demon has been told to "LEAVE!" and  I have a sense of me and life being okay...of being good.  In this is good.

Mark Shultz has a wonderful song, Remember Me, that has been running through my mind as I have read and journaled. I couldn't find a good video...this is one is just okay...yet it has the words and that is what is most important...the words.

O Memory Giver, thank you for the storehouse of good memories that is mine. May these blessed memories give me hope and inspiration for my spiritual journey. I ask this day that the touch of your goodness, your blessing, be with ...  Thank you for your blessings. AMEN.

I will carry one blessed memory in my heart and let it sustain me with happiness and peace.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi


  1. My memory cup is a red vintage Fiesta cup. I never actually used the red cup but oh did I dream of using the special cup. Today the special cup is a memory cup and what a wonderful thought. No mushrooms for me but I may actually use the red Fiesta cup for a cupatea.

  2. Today's reading was one of my favorite so far (and yes, I realize we are clos to the end). My memory cup is one that I hold close. I wonder how many people who have made me smile today with warm memories of them would even know how they continue to bless and help sustain me. I have an abundance of blessings.

  3. The video had images that touched and started a "deep" conversation about loving Jesus and those who do not love Jesus with my youngest. Plus, he loved the 2 people jumping and making a heart shape. I am sure he is going to be trying this soon.