It is a sad event when someone you love deeply and loves you as much no longer knows or recognizes you, and worse if that loved one does not want to see your face again.
This happened to a friend of mine recently. He was distraught when his aged mother first showed clear signs of dementia. One day she announced frantically that she had lost millions of paper currency from her purse. When he pointed out that such an amount of money couldn’t fit in her small purse, she accused him of being the thief and drove him out of her room.
To avoid being seen by his mother around the house and triggering similar negative reactions again, he decided to sleep in their car. The following day, his mother looked for him as if nothing had happened. He realized that his mother had experienced an episode of dementia of the temporary kind. His mom was now lucid and recognized him again. Thanking God, he prayed that there would be no more such episodes, or if so, infrequently and far between. My friend, who never got married, has been taking care of his mother for many years and considers it the mission that God gave him.
Information on the signs and manifestations of dementia and those who are usually afflicted by the disease abounds on the Internet. But there is one kind of dementia that at times afflicts everyone. It is the forgetfulness of who we are, who our neighbors are, and Who God is in our lives. We might call it "spiritual dementia."
We are sure that God does not suffer from dementia. From all eternity He always knows us and will never forget us. He assures us:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15)
God never forgets us nor tires of loving us. How about us? Can we admit that sometimes we forget this and, knowingly and/or unknowingly, forget Him in our lives?
Also, do we sometimes forget who we are and who our neighbors are in God’s sight?
This Advent Season, it is good to reflect and hear our Lord Jesus saying:
"My mission from the Father was to prove our love for you, even if I had to come down as a little helpless infant, suffer and die for you. Whenever you have episodes of spiritual dementia, I will never give up on you. My grace will give you lucid moments that will remind you of Who I Am for you and who you are to Me."
Isn't that reassuring and helpful as we go through this life?
[As to my friend, the Lord will not forget the kindness he shows to his mother in her old age, even if her mind fails her. (Sirach 3:12-14).]
Above photo: free from Pixabay