Sunday, January 1, 2012

"Love our Lady. And she will obtain abundant grace to help you conquer in your daily struggle."

"So your strength is failing you? Why don't you tell your mother about it? . . . Mother! Call her with a loud voice. She is listening to you; she sees you in danger, perhaps, and she—your holy mother Mary—offers you, along with the grace of her son, the refuge of her arms, the tenderness of her embrace . . . and you will find yourself with added strength for the new battle."--St. Josemaria Escriva

(Numbers 6:22-27)
The LORD said to Moses:
"Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them:
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites,
and I will bless them."

On the first day of the New Year we celebrate the Feast of the Mother of God. This is no liturgical accident. She who beheld the face of the Savior invites us to hear the words of Jesus Christ, "Behold I make all things new!" She is the Mother of the New Creation because the One whom she held in her womb and birthed for the whole world is the only One who can make all things new!

Every New Year we read numerous articles about the efficacy of New Year's Resolutions. However, the fact remains, we all make them. The experience is nearly universal. The question is why? I suggest that they reveal something of our universal longing. So too do our calendars. Some Nations use different calendars, but the passing of one year to another is marked by a deliberate period of reflection over the past year and a pledge to begin anew, to change, in the year to come. This is because we all hunger to be made new!

We all want to change, to be better, to live our lives more fully and love one another more selflessly. As we end one year and look to a new one, we pause and take inventory. In a rare moment of near universal reflection and honest self assessment, we admit our failures. We pledge to learn from them and move toward a better future.

When I was a young man, I would write my New Years goal list before a period of protracted prayer. I use to make the list and then, in a fit of self generated enthusiasm, ask the Lord to bless it! I know better now. I need the light of the Holy Spirit to even comprehend what is needed if I ever hope to change. I pray first and then, my list has become so simple. Mary's Fiat has become my prayer, "be it done unto me according to your word."

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