It’s a discipline to remember things you’d rather forget. Like the time you embarrassed yourself, or failed an exam or even the loss of someone. But to remember the loss of thousands upon thousands of soldiers is hard. We’re talking big numbers here. Then to take on that they indirectly died for yourself, for the freedom you now inhabit. Big concept.
This year Remembrance day, Nov 11th has coincided with my ‘3rd week’ of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. For those who aren’t familiar with these, then think of what it means to be on a programme of physical fitness and transfer this idea to a spiritual regime. The 3rd phase focuses on the death of Jesus, remembering his suffering, for us, for our freedom. A lot of overlap with Remembrance day.
It takes discipline to engage in both these events as they make us feel uncomfortable. However I can’t extol enough, the virtues of honest confrontation with the gritty, shitty stuff of life. If we do and as we do, we are shaped for good as we remember what could’ve been (the negative realm we could be living in now) and we adjust our behaviour and attitude to welcome in and live in freedom. How important it is then, to live in remembrance of what did happen and what could’ve happened, to enable us to live as we want (in freedom) and as those who died for us would want (freedom!).