Brother Francis, in his profound little volume, The Challenge of Faith, offers the following meditations on the subject of “Memory.” These thoughts of a truly contemplative mind are worthy of being savored.
- Memory is the greater part of personality, the index of love, the depository of wisdom, the determinant of virtuous action, the effective and abiding part of education.
- All the original and creative works of mind and imagination, presuppose the cooperation of memory, and are enriched by its available treasures.
- For a sound educational policy, the discriminate employ of the memory is of paramount importance. There ought to be an objective, common, ordered body of knowledge to be universally conveyed; but it ought to be kept to the essential minimum, to be completed by personal choice. Excessive and burdensome use of the memory may eventually crush personality, discourage the weak, eliminate the functions of all the other faculties, and make learning loathsome.
- It is of the essence of memory to be selective: it would be monstrous to remember everything.
- It is the great mystery why we remember some very small matters.
- Memory is the heart’s treasure house.
- There is a law of the divine economy (amply confirmed in my personal experience): We do not quickly forget matters bearing on our own salvation.
- The abundance of a man’s heart—that is memory.
Brother Francis Maluf was born in Lebanon in 1913 and held a PhD in philosophy. Along with Father Leonard Feeney, he was a founding, in 1949, of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a religious Order. Brother Francis went to his heavenly reward in 2009. This article appears courtesy of Catholicism.org.
Featured: “Cosmos, Body and Soul,” from the Liber divinorum operum, I.4, by St. Hildegard of Bingen, ca. 1163—1173.