We begin a new calendar year. A time for resolutions and for Christians the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. A good time to resolve to live in the manner that Mary showed us by listening to God's word in our hearts and consciences and living it in our daily lives.
are made to be happy and for many of us the hope is not the reality.
And yet that is what we need to expect and desire. God gives us the
graces; we believe we are the temples of the Holy Spirit but
fail to remember the meaning. Despite the many
problems, sickness, the situation in which we find ourselves and the
craziness that is all around, we are called to live with joy, a gift of
the the Holy Spirit.
A Korea priest who spent some
time in Lima, Peru, as a missioner writes in the Catholic Digest about
his experience in living in a poor area of the city. On the day before
the New Year the people are busy making life-like dolls for the New
This is the summer season and you hear the words from open doors:
'bring more clothes' as they prepare to make dolls out of old clothing.
if you ask what are they dong, they will answer preparing to burn the
At midnight they shoot off fireworks and burn
the dolls which symbolize all that was negative in the past year: the
bad things, the sins, all that made for unhappiness they burn and hope for a different and joyful new year.
reminds himself, now back in Korea, how in the pastoral work he
uses his own yard stick to determine what is right and wrong with often
clumsy results and fails to acknowledge the problems which follow from
He remembers the Peruvians and their dolls and
wants to begin the New Year with the burning of all that was bad: the
wrong judgments, improper emotions and begin a completely new year.
does not tire of being merciful and forgiving us." These words of Pope Francis begin to resonate with him. He concludes the article by hoping
to live like a person who has been forgiven. To meet every person as if
coming for the first time, meeting all as if he has never been hurt,
and see all occasions and persons with hope. Isn't this a way of living with joy in our hearts? Happy New Year!