Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Year of the Rabbit

At the start of this year of the rabbit, a columnist in the Catholic Times recalls the sermon he heard at Mass on New Year's day. The priest asked the parishioners what they thought of when hearing the word rabbit associated with the year 2011. Most of them thought of fecundity, simple, beautiful, cowardice, among others.

The word rabbit brings to mind all these traits but the priest selected 'growth' as possibly the most important trait. The hind legs of the rabbit are longer than the front legs, which make going up  easy but going down rather awkward. So this year, he suggested that all of us should make strides to better ourselves, to grow in some way during the year, striving for another level in our personal  growth.

The columnist points out that each of us has a different meaning for growth. After Mass, during the time for fellowship and refreshments, she asked several acquaintances in what area of life would they like to see more growth during the year. To increase the number of friends to twenty was one response. Another, to increase personal development by reading 30 or more books. No one mentioned having financial or material goals; all were more interested in internal growth. She was pleased with what she heard and surprised. She will also be working for growth in maturity during the year.

At this time of  the year, Koreans have already celebrated the solar New Year; the dress rehearsal for the real thing, the lunar New Year, will be on Feb. 3rd. What interest there is in Chinese astrology is difficult to judge. The past year was the year of the Tiger, not a good year. This year of the  rabbit is more propitious for those who believe in astrology.  North Korea is also influenced by the same beliefs; hopefully, the traits of the rabbit will be shown in the way they will treat each other this year. Since the sign of the rabbit is one of the more fortunate of the twelve signs, it might signal something worthwhile to both the North and the South. Let us pray that we do have a growth in efforts to bring peace to Korea. And finally a peace treaty.

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