Nostalgia is a wistful recollection, perhaps of an overcast May gloom day (we’ve had a few of those!); a moment when we yearn for things gone by: friends, loved ones, experiences lost to the tides of time.
Perhaps we’ve taken a seat in a favorite chair. The roar of a passing engine motor, the charcoal of a neighbor’s grill, a photo we see placed on the mantel…something triggers a flood of emotion.
Nostalgic moments can be occasions for gratitude, or, if too long indulged, portals to melancholy. After a few moments we stand up and stretch and get ourselves off to useful occupations.
‘Remembrance’ is something quite distinct from nostalgia. Organized, intentional and communal; remembrance is a discipline, and emotion is not essential to its exercise. The elevation of sentiment diminishes occasions of remembrance, when dignity and respect merit prime seating.
This Memorial Day we commit as a people to the national recollection of the men and women who have died while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States. This observance commenced following the Civil War with the establishment of Decoration Day in 1868. Few visit cemeteries these days…we are scattered, diffuse, and too busy for our dead.
Some of us place flags on our porches, others gather in parks. Those of us who still bother gather in Church. We give intentional homage to those who have made laudable sacrifice for our best ideals in a hard-won Republic.
The perseverance of that Republic is not guaranteed. Remembrance serves a Providential civic and religious function.
The Church likewise has calendar days of remembrance for the saints and holy men and women who have exhibited valor or met death in witness to the pursuit of justice and the deep convictions of Christian commitment.
National remembrance and religious remembrance are structured to strengthen personal character in those now tasked to embody those matters which build Faith communities and national identities. These are meant to reinforce virtue. We need evidence of civic and religious virtue. They do not arrive accidentally. These are the product of individual disciplines with communal yield. Tarry no longer.
This coming weekend brings occasion for respite and frivolity, and we could all use with a bit more of that. The weekend is vacuous, though, apart from an affirmation to civic recollection and shared remembrance. Might I add a plug for intentional Religion?
Spruce up for worship. Get that flag out onto your porch. Become a determined parishioner and citizen, and cultivate shared remembrance and common virtue.
Otherwise, embrace the cultural consequence of general indifference.
With Gratitude for those who ventured loss for future generations,
SUMMER SUPPER SOCIALS! If you would like to participate as a guest or host in our summer events (picnics, pool parties, lunches, dinner parties as hosts determine) please contact committee chair Nancy Dini.
You are invited to “Walk-Through” the beautifully renovated Rectory after each of our Liturgies June 5th. The Rectory is available for Lease, and this will be the opportune date for a glimpse inside. Located at 2954 Gainsborough Drive, just West of the Parish Sign at the corner of San Gabriel Boulevard and Gainsborough Drive.
MEN’S GROUP: Next time will be July 19, so mark your calendar and look forward to enjoying the Hennacy’s hospitality in midsummer.
PILATES CLASS: The Tuesday Class concludes for the summer with the last Tuesday in May…the 31st.