Lent week four: Paʻanaʻau – memory

Mar. 25, 2022

Kamehameha Schools has created a series of Hawaiian-focused devotionals for the season of Lent, to honor the deep Christian faith of KS founder Princess Bernice Pauahi Pākī Bishop. The devotionals were designed to be used by students, staffers and others to celebrate the coming of Easter.

Heluhelu Baibala
Bible reading

No ka mea, ma kahi e waiho ai ko ʻoukou waiwai, ma laila pū nō hoʻi ko ʻoukou naʻau. –  Mataio 6:21 

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. – Matthew 6:21

He manaʻo o ka limahana
Kala‘iku Wong, Hawaiian culture-based education coordinator for KS Nā Kula Kamaliʻi

Have you ever memorized something – a song, a quote, a story – and realized one day that it popped into your mind? What did you do? If it was a song, you probably sang a next few stanzas. If it was a quote, an image of the movie scene probably played in your head. And if it was a story, you were probably taken back to where the event took place. If you’ve ever experienced this, chances are that thing is paʻa in your naʻau.

Paʻanaʻau is our Hawaiian term for memory. Paʻanaʻau means that something is stuck, secured, or permanent in your naʻau. 

What is in your naʻau reflects the things you care about most (Matthew 6:21). The contents of your naʻau are most important because they will show up in other areas of your life: the first and last thoughts of the day, your everyday habits, and even your temper are reflective of the things that you store in your naʻau (Luke 6:45). 

Before Jesus was betrayed and went to the cross, He told His disciples that although He is leaving, a Helper would come. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26).

So, what is in your naʻau? Are they things that are true, noble, pure, lovely, and praiseworthy? (Philippians 4:8) Are God’s commandments in there? (John 14:15) Are his instructions there? (2 Timothy 3:16-17) What is in your naʻau that the Holy Spirit can bring to remembrance?

E ke Akua, e kōkua mai iaʻu i kēia lā, e noʻonoʻo i nā mea maikaʻi. ʻĀmene. Lord, help me live today focusing on good things. Amen.