And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true." (Rev 21:5)
The year of 2021 has been a year of numerous trials and tribulations for all of us from the Coronavirus variants to a struggling economy and everything in between. I know many of us have been very much looking forward to the beginning of a new year where we can start anew and embrace a spirit of hope that this all will soon be behind us. We want to be able to allow the love of Christ to burn deeply within our hearts and then share his love with those around us, so that we can help one another to get through this difficult time.
Some of us have been hurt in more ways than one during this past year. And It is difficult to forgive those that have hurt us or have harmed our loved ones, but whenever I look at the cross and each day when I place my crucifix around my neck I think to myself that God Who so loved the world gave us His only Son to die for us. He died for us to save us from our sins, and He is a loving God who forgives us over and over again if we let Him. If Jesus could forgive those who led him to be hung on the cross, and the men who nailed Him to the cross, and those who mocked him and watched Him die a horrible death, then I can forgive those who have hurt me.
Is it easy to forgive, absolutely not. Forgiveness challenges us each day, but if we hold onto anger, pain, and hate then it only consumes our hearts and minds. I know I need my heart and mind to have room for the love of Christ, and if I am consumed with thoughts about what has happened to me and why did God allow it, and why do those who have hurt me have no remorse then I am allowing the devil to rent space in my head and in my heart, and he is not welcome there!
I began thinking recently about how difficult it is for so many people to move onward in their life and stay strong after facing atrocities, tragedies, hardships, and challenges. How do we celebrate the new year with a beaming smile on our face when the previous year has left so many of us with "nothing," but heartache and a feeling of loss, sorrow, anger, frustration, etc.? That word "nothing" is a lie because we are never left with "nothing" as a Christian. God never abandons us, NEVER, and we have to believe that really and truly as children of God. Our Lord gives us hope that no matter what we have endured in our lives tomorrow will always bring us a new day. And each day will get a bit easier, and as we place one foot in front of the other little by little we move forward from dawn unto dusk and from dusk unto dawn.
January 1, 2022 besides being the first day of the New Year is also the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, the final day of the Octave of Christmas or Christmastide. How more appropriate is it that we celebrate this feast day on the first day of the new year? We turn to our Mother, of course. Mary is the Mother of God, and the Queen of Peace, and we know that as Catholics Mary will always be at our side as we journey on a path of hope towards peace in the world. It is also fitting that this day is also the World Day of Peace where we have hope not only for peace in our own lives, but that all of those searching for peace will find it.
May the peace and love of Christ be with all of you as we begin together a new year. Wishing everyone a blessed Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and a Happy New Year!
Veni, Creator Spiritus - Catholic Prayer For New Year’s Day (January 1)
Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God’s hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father, Thou
Who dost the tongue with power imbue.
Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o’erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.
Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven.
Veni, Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia
quae tu creasti pectora.