Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Happy New Year- A Personal Reflection and Miscellany

On this second day of 2007, I want to wish everyone a Happy, Joyous, and Blessed New Year. I finally had the time this morning to reflect on 2006, to take an inventory of what was, for me, a very up-and-down twelve months. I began the year in Iraq, in the heart of the Sunni triangle. I was there for the elections and constitutional referendum. It seemed at the time that things were coming together. The Sunnis had agreed to participate in both votes. Then there was the delay in forming the government and, hence, in finalizing the Constitution. A government was finally formed, but quickly devolved into sectarian chaos, where it all remains, capped off by the hanging of Saddam on the eve of Eid ul-Adhar, which is contrary to international law and, if anything, will only be one more grievance, adding fuel to the raging inferno that is Iraq, a country, like so many in which conflicts rage, thoughtlessly created after the First World War.

Upon arriving home, a grateful government gave me a month off work, during which I immersed myself in ministry. The course correction I needed occurred during the holy season of Lent. The one lesson God reinforced for me this year, as my readers already know, is that when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Cor 12,10). I am thankful to God, to His Blessed Mother, to my guardian angel, to Sts. Stephen and Martin of Tours, to St. Mary Magdalene, to Sts. Francis and Clare, to St. Thérèse of Lisieux and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. Again, with Phil Keaggy, I ask, "When will I ever learn to live in God/When will I ever learn/Cause He gives me everything I need and more/When will I ever learn?" I am so grateful that God, our loving Father, "is patient . . . not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet 3,9).

So, dear friends, I am happy for a new year. I am excited for what God has in store. I hope you are, too. It is still Christmas until next Monday, 8 January, when the season ends with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (see Greg Glenn's excellent post over on our parish blog). Next Sunday we celebrate the magnificent feast of Epiphany. God is so good that when we were lost and could not find our way, He sent His only begotten Son, to light the path. Now, we who lived in darkness have seen a great light (Matt 4,16), let us live always as children of light. I look forward to continuing to serve God's Holy People, The People of St. Mary Magdalene, patroness of the Cathedral community I am privileged to serve, and of the entire Diocese of Salt Lake City. One great event to which we eagerly and prayerfully look forward in this new year, is the appointment of the eighth successor of Bishop Lawrence Scanlan, who will be the ninth bishop of the Church of Lacus Salsi- sounds kind if saucy in Latin, eh? (The eh? is for Carole).


  1. I'm not really anonymous.

    I normally don't have the courage to venture out in comment land like this but I saw the "eh" and suddenly felt compelled to, first of all, look up Dioecesis Civitatis Lacus Salsi...where's the city part of salt lake? Is it civitatis?

    Happy New Year Deacon Dodge.

    Thanks for your blogs. I value greatly, each and every sentiment. God is awesome! By the way, re: the liturgical calendar reference tonight, about grasping it in 5 minutes..I'm sorry? Come again?

    God Bless,
    Carole "the Canadian"

  2. Okay, maybe 10 minutes. I don't know why in the civitatis is left out of the official Latin name, but, for whatever reason it was. Anyway, Happy New Year