Blessed New Year

Wishing all of you a blessed and grace-filled new year. I don't know if you make New Year's Resolutions (i don't, tried it MANY times, just didn't work for me!) but if you do, that's great.

One thing I learned many years ago and something that I still do every year on New Year's Eve, is to entrust the coming year to Our Blessed Mother and commend the previous year to her heart as well.

I ask her to take care of me and all those who have asked me for prayers and  for whom I have promised to pray. I ask her to receive the graces that I didn't receive because of my failures in the previous year and I ask her to prepare me for the coming year as well.

Although we do not know what is on the horizon for us, for our country and for the world this coming year, this might be an opportune time for all of us to dig deeper into learning and living our faith.

Take a Bible study, join an adult education class at your parish or take up some spiritual reading on a regular basis. Even if you can only do a little everyday, at the end of the year, you will have learned and grown much.

We cannot afford to be ignorant of our faith and the Truth. We must know Him and proclaim Him and this gift is open to all.

The divine openness to every person on the face of the Earth is very important. Jesus does not deny those who seek Him in truth. He will not hide Himself from the person who seeks for Him. Eternal riches that are infinitely deep are open to every person. What other King would do this?

When Prince William and Kate Middleton have a child, we will, as commoners, be able to greet that child personally? No. They have security personnel to keep the ordinary out. Those who greet that child will be the royal, the powerful, the wealthy-

But God isn't like that. The King of Kings chooses to be born in humble surroundings, greeted at His birth by shepherds.

In a world of competition where we must compete for a finite amount of money, power and attention, God offers Himself freely and openly, with no competition. He is not competing with us in a battle of wills, all He does is give and love.

I know, for myself, so often I don't even know how to not compete (does that make sense?). I am so used to competition (though in its proper place, there is nothing wrong with it) that often unconsciously I think I must even compete for God's love and holiness, but this is untrue for perceived competition in this reality is out of place and unnecessary. God is not impressed with my boastful attempts to exalt myself.

God's love is infinite and fulfilling and complete. It is whole and healing. He heals our sin, our darkness, our wounds. He takes our little selves into His heart and gives Himself to us.

So, in a world where many are celebrating a new year with intoxication and darkness, may we pray for Jesus, the Light of world, to shine in the hearts of us all.

God bless you.

Happy New Year :)

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