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Memories - A Reflection by Chris McDonnell.
McCrimmons are delighted to present the first of a series of occasional reflections from Chris McDonnell. Chris is one of our authors and a long time friend of the company, we would like to thank him for his permission to publish these articles on our site.
Chris McDonnell Wednesday June 11th 2014.
The news has been heavy with memories in the last few days. Heads of State, politicians and white-haired Service personnel gathered on the Normandy beaches of Northern France to remember D-Day when, on the 6th June 1944, the invasion of Europe began, a day that finally was to bring about the end of the Second World War in May the following year.
What must have been going through the minds of those men, displaying their service medals, leaning on their sticks and wearing their berets? Standing on the open expanse of sandy beaches that once saw the savagery of war, the noise of gunfire and the anguished cries of wounded men, all those scenes must have rushed before their aging eyes, each with their own memories.
Time past, time gone.
This same weekend the Church has celebrated the great feast of Pentecost, our time of memory of the coming of the Spirit when we recall the Upper Room and the birth time of the Christian Mission.
Was it coincidence that it was on Pentecost Sunday that Francis invited Shimon Perez and Mahmoud Abbas to his home to pray together for peace? The memory of arms outstretched in greeting will remain, a sign above the tumult that peace might come, their grey and lived-in faces telling their own story of painful experience and deeply scarred memory.
The folk singer Tom Paxton sang a song years back with the refrain, Peace, peace will come let it begin with me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9tIJEywB4g&feature=kp
Shalom, Salam, Peace
What an occasion it was under the deepening blue sky of a Roman evening, a rising moon, where a gathering of Jews, Christians and Muslims sought to share a Sign of Peace, an event that will truly be remembered by children and grandchildren.
And this same weekend, closer to home I attended a celebration here in England to mark the 60th anniversary of ordination of a friend whose first Mass I served back in '54, both of us so much older now, each with our own stock of memories of the roads we have travelled, together and separately.
Memory serves as a link between where we have come from and where we are. It tells us our story, reinvigorates our lives and indicates the way forward. Scripture and Tradition do the same, by reminding us of our Christian Heritage, they guide the next step, reminding us that we should learn from those who have preceded us in order that, in future years, others may in their turn, learn from us.
There is a ‘connectedness' between us and others who have yet to come, a connectedness between all peoples with a faith in the God who created us all.
And so again, Shalom, Salam, Peace.
Click to see one of our best sellers 'Walk with Me, Meditations on the Way of the Cross', a collaboration between Chris and Fr. Gerry Coates illustrating the stunning wood carvings by Chris Shawcross.