Skip to main content

Cherish the memories of youth

"You must know that there is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome and good for life in the future than some good memory, especially a memory of childhood, a memory of home.  People talk to you a great deal about your education, but some good, sacred memory, preserved from childhood, is perhaps the best education.  If a man carries many such memories with him into life, he is safe to the end of his days, and if one has only one good memory left in one's heart, even that may sometime be the means of saving us." The Brothers Karamazov, pg. 727.

In this moving scene of The Brothers Karamazov Alexei Karamazov reflects upon the memories of childhood and the importance of maintaining them throughout one's life.  The scene of this reflection takes place after the funeral of a boy named Illusha who has died from consumption. Most of the village boys are there to pay their last respects to their fallen colleague and classmate.  What makes this scene so beautiful is how it came about in the first place.  Prior to Illusha's untimely death, he was routinely taunted, and bullied by those same boys. But in a wonderful, uplifting transformation  those same boys repented of their harsh and inhumane treatment and spent all of their free time visiting and looking after Illusha while he was still alive. The catalyst of this forgiveness was Alexei Karamazov.  In many ways Alexei embodied the perfect forgiveness that Christ gives to all.

This scene made a deep impression on me in the following two ways: 1) I was moved by the beauty of the scene, 2) I was moved by Alexei's exhortation to the boys to hold on to the memories of their childhoods.
I can attest to this myself.  As I grow older and older, assuming greater responsibilities the tendency for me is to forget, to not reflect on the memories of my youth. But from time to time a random memory will creep in, (often times during the strangest times) from my childhood causing me to pause temporarily, to take inventory on how I am living in the present.  Often times this memory of childhood will give me a new sense of peace and perspective.

Given our fast paced environments this worthwhile remembrance becomes nearly impossible.When we are constantly bombarded by e-mails, twitter, facebook, our I phones, and I pods, we lose a sense of who we once were. Once we lose this vital part of ourselves then the tendency is to roam our entire lifetimes, without an integrated identity.  We need our pasts in order to shape our futures, our destiny's.   We need to take time to reflect on the memories of our childhoods. 

Here are some simple, constructive ways of reconnecting with your childhood:

  • Watch a movie that you liked as a child
  • Go through a photo album
  • Call a friend from your childhood and set a time to meet
  • Play a board game that was important to you as a child
  • Listen to a song that reminds you of your childhood
 While you are reclaiming your childhood memories I strongly suggest that you listen to this Beatles song:


  1. Marco: This is beautiful and poignant. Keep on writing and sharing, mi cugino.



Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

10 Great Quotes from The Book of Sirach

The book of Sirach is a book that is often overlooked in the bible. This is unfortunate since this book contains many wise, practical saying on how to live a virtous life. The book was believed to have been written between 200-175 B.C.E.

Here are ten quotes that I feel best reflect this timeless work.

1."Do not become a beggar by feasting with\borrowed money, when you have nothing in your purse." Sirach 18:33

2."In all you do remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin." 7:36

3.."Glory and dishonor come from speaking; a man's tongue is his downfall." 5:13"

4."A wise man is cautious in everything." 18:27

5."One who trusts others is light minded." 19:4

6."If you pursue justice, you will obtain it and wear it as a glorious robe." 27:8

7."Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but no many as have fallen because of the tongue." 28:18

8." In all of your work be industrious and no sickness will…

George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and The Afterlife

I was stunned, as was most of the world was when I heard about the passing of George Michael on Christmas day.  Michael possessed enormous talent was and one of the most successful acts in the 1980's and early 90's

Shortly after Carrie Fisher died.  Fisher was famous for her legendary role as princess Leia from the Star Wars movies.  Strangely her mother also died the day after.

2016 was a notable year for celebrity deaths.

Some names include Prince, Glenn Frey, David Bowie,  Doris Roberts, Alan Rickman, and Muhammad Ali.

As a Catholic these deaths got me thinking about the transient nature of life and the inevitability of death.

Marcus Aurelius, the stoic, emperor, philosopher king wrote about the passing nature of life as he reflected, "Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away."

Even though I agree mostly with Aurelius&…

Me vs. The Almighty

There is a famous scene in the Bible where Jacob wrestles with God.  Jacob fights with God until God takes out a bone from Jacob's thigh. Interestingly, God eventually relents and stops fighting with Jacob. After this dramatic incident, Jacob is renamed Israel which literally means, "he who struggles with God."

I can relate to this story.  Many times in my life I have argued with God. I still do. (my wife can attest to that.) Many times I have criticized his tactics, his ways, and his wisdom. In my worst moments, I have even used choice language. I have a complicated relationship with God. Like Jacob, I have wrestled with God. (thigh bone still intact)

Recently I approached a priest friend of mine and told him of my struggles with God.  I expected that he would chide me for my lack of respect and informality. What this priest said was illuminating and encouraging. He told me that it was OK at times to be angry with God, God understood. He, in fact, encouraged this honest…