collective invocational memory

Anamnesis (ἀνάμνησις) is the word that Jesus uses at the Last supper: “Do this in memory of me” (Greek: “τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν”, Luke 22:19 and 1 Corinthians 11:24–25). In episode 7 of the Amon Sûl podcast, Fr. Andrew Damick defines anamnesis as: The invocational memory that brings Christ’s passion and death into […]

to remember at least a few of the things most precious to us

For in this community the past was rarely discussed. I do not mean it was taboo. I mean that it had somehow faded into a mist as dense as that which hung over the marshes. It simply did not occur to these villagers to think about the past—even the recent one. “…Do you suppose there’s […]

a creation every moment

For Preservation is a Creation; and more, it is a continued Creation, and a creation every moment. From The Country Parson by George Herbert (1652 ed., chap. XXXIV) quoted in Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (111). Here are two other references to this theme by Robinson shortly afterward: There’s a mystery in the thought of the […]

life without expectations

Living without expectations is hard but, whenever you can do it, good. Living without hope is harder, and that’s bad. You have got to have hope, and you mustn’t shirk it. Love, after all, “hopeth all things.” But maybe you must learn, and it is hard learning, not to hope out loud, especially for other […]

like a damned employee

That was the harshest criticism he ever made of the children: “You’re acting like a damned employee.” He quit saying such things after Margaret became an employee of her school board and Mattie an employee of his company and Caleb an employee of his university, but I know he kept thinking them. He wanted to […]

you know the ghosts are there when you see as they see

Ghosts attend such events. I don’t know how else to say it. This was 1967. Mr. Feltner had been dead for two years, and Virgil for twenty-two. You know the ghosts are there when you see as they see, not as they saw but as they see. You feel them with you, not as they […]

a first city that remains implicit

From Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino: “To distinguish the other cities’ qualities, I must speak of a first city that remains implicit. For me it is Venice.” “…Memory’s images, once they are fixed in words, are erased,” Polo said. “Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it. Or […]

my life shall be a real life

Passages from Confessions (Book X) by Augustine of Hippo (including the passage from which Petrarch takes his inspiration in “The Ascent of Mount Ventoux” and also reminiscent in places of “Holy Sonnet XIV” by John Donne as well as “God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins): These things do I within, in that vast chamber of […]

the sight of monsters walking among them

Now the sight of monsters walking among them seemed as normal as the seagulls that swooped and chattered in the air above the city. From page 127 of Andrew Peterson’s On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness: Adventure. Peril. Lost Jewels. And the Fearsome Toothy Cows of Skree. The book spines looked richer […]