Monday Morning Confessional: Buechner, Rohr, Volf, and Faithful Remembering



“One way or another, we are always remembering… there is no escaping it even if we want to, or at least no escaping it for long, though God knows there are times when we try to, don’t want to remember. In one sense the past is dead and gone, never to be repeated, over and done with, but in another sense, it is of course not done with at all or at least not done with us…” Frederick Buechner, A Room Called Remember.

I confess that the past few days have led me to question one of the fundamental teachings of Richard Rohr. Rohr has often said that God is really only present in the naked now. To experience God, we must stop reprocessing the past and dreaming about the future and be here and now, in the presence of God. He calls this prayer. While I most certainly agree that this is prayer, I think it more accurate to say this is one kind of prayer, one way that God meets us. It is important, but is not the full picture of prayer, nor is it the most important kind of prayer. There is no such thing because all of the forms prayer might take must work together.

I confess that I spent much of my week reading and thinking about human memory, remembering, and forgetting. I read an awful lot of Miroslav Volf, who has written extensively on healthy and unhealthy remembering and forgetting. I read and reread an essay called “A Room Called Remember,” by Frederick Buechner. Buechner is a singular argument for the necessity of remembering. The essay is prophetic, compelling. This has been one of the more enjoyable theological tangents I’ve explored in awhile.

I confess that I am struck by the fundamental bind memory presents.



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