“Keep yourselves in the love of God.” (Jude 21)

That’s quite a tall order, isn’t it? How in the world are we supposed to keep ourselves in God’s love? Isn’t that more something God does for us?

Well, yes and no. It’s true that only God can sustain us. It’s true that we can’t earn God’s love or do anything to make him love us any more—or any less, for that mat­ter. But Jude isn’t telling us to keep working hard to make sure that our Father still loves us. Instead, his words speak more directly to the way we use the precious gift of our memories. His words tell us to do all we can to keep the memory of God’s love for us alive so that we can con­tinue to think and act in a way that honors the Lord.

Of course, we may experience some feelings of joy and happiness when we pray, but these feelings can fade, and difficult times can threaten our peace. And this is precisely where memory comes in. As we recall past events that proved God’s love for us—past times of prayer or situations where we’ve really felt God’s hand on us—we build up our database of trust and faith in him. Then, during those darker times when God feels a little more distant, we can draw upon this database to help us stay faithful to the Lord and to remain rooted in his love.

Throughout Scripture, God calls us to remember him and his love. He gave the Israelites the feast of Passover to remind them how he delivered them from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12:14). And at the Last Sup­per, Jesus gave us the Eucharist and told us: “Do this in memory of me” so that we can remember and relive the miracle of his death and resurrec­tion every day (Luke 22:19).

It is vital that we keep our memo­ries clear and active so that we can stand on the truths of the Lord. Worshipping him at Mass and listen­ing to him in personal prayer can do wonders in awakening the memory of God’s covenant with us. If we nourish our memories every day, we’ll find it easier to remain in God’s love, no matter what happens.

“Jesus, I trust in your mercy and love. Help me to remember you every day—you who are my Lord, my Savior, and my Friend!”

Psalm 63:2-6; Mark 11:27-33