The other day I caught another glimpse into the heart of God the Father that took me totally by surprise and literally rocked my inner world. I was trying to read The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Sienna but I didn’t get more than a forth of the way through. Of what I did read one thing has stuck with me so much so that I find myself repeating it over and over in my head. God the Father is talking to St. Catherine and He keeps saying, “Remember my Son”.
Over the past few months I’ve become keenly aware of an intense longing/need that people don’t forget Bernadette. It’s as constant as my need to breathe. In all the reading I’ve done and parents I’ve talked to this past year, I know I’m not alone. Other parents who have lost a child feel the same way: please don’t forget my son/daughter.
For it to be so common, I can’t help but think that it is one of those aspects about being a parent that comes from our being made in the image and likeness of God. So when I read, “Remember my Son” being said over and over I had a shadow of understanding of the intensity of God’s desire that we don’t forget Jesus. Of course we have far more reason to remember Jesus than we do to remember Bernadette, but just knowing my intense need for people to remember Bernadette helps me relate to God the Father’s desire/need that we remember Jesus, only His would be on an infinitely larger scale.
Tonight we arrived at Mass half an hour early and as I sat there, while the choir sang, I couldn’t help but noticed how the volume of the chatter rose with each passing minute as more and more parishioners and visitors filled the pews. One had to be living under a rock not to notice that the church was filled with an energy and excitement that only happens at Christmas. But my mind wasn’t on the ‘excitement’ of Christmas, it was on the Father’s words, “Remember my Son”. Every time someone enthusiastically wished me a Merry Christmas I wanted to say something to the effect that Christmas (in the sense of family gatherings and celebrating which is what they were referring to) wasn’t Christmas without Bernadette and didn’t they understand that? Only I forced myself to smile and I could hear the words, “Remember My Son”. I suspected God’s heart was just as broken as my own. I knew that the feverish pitch of excitement wasn’t over the fact that Jesus came and dwelt amongst us or we’d have that feverish pitch every Sunday. No, it took losing Bernadette and understanding the broken heart of a parent to understand the pain, longing, and desire in God the Father’s words, “Remember My Son!”
Peace and blessings at this Christmas time and into the new year.