Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God

On the first day of the New Year, which is also the Eighth Day of Christmas, the day we bring the Octave of Christmas to a close, the Church celebrates the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Mother of God. What a fitting way to start the year! It is also the day on which the Church observes the World Day of Peace. After all, the Blessed Virgin is Mother of the Prince of Peace.

A good resolution is to pray the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary more frequently in 2014. I urge both of my readers to pray 5 decades, one complete set of mysteries, each and every day, beginning today with the Joyful Mysteries.

A few days ago, as I was prayerfully reflecting on what resolves I needed to make for this New Year, I came across this insight by Jon Bloom: "Resolves are intentions with strategies attached to them. You don’t just hope something is going to happen; you are planning to make it happen. To be resolved is to be determined."

It's easy to overwhelm ourselves with trying to make every change under the sun, which is a recipe for setting yourself up for failure, meaning that by being too serious you are not being serious enough. Praying the rosary each day is a simple enough resolution. Just do it. If you miss a day, pray the next day. See what a difference praying the Rosary makes in your life.

The late English Domnican, Fr. Vincent McNabb, a friend, spiritual director to, and chaplain of sorts to Hilare Belloc's household, said in a homily for "Rosary Sunday" back in 1936: “The Incarnation is the centre of all our spiritual life.. One of the means by which it is made so is the Holy Rosary. There is hardly any way of arriving at some realisation of this great mystery equal to that of saying the Rosary. Nothing will impress it so much on your mind as going apart to dwell in thought, a little space each day, in Bethlehem, on Golgotha, on the Mount of the Ascension.”

To everyone near and far, I pray that this New Year of 2014 is happy, healthy and, indeed, blessed. Nothing profound or terribly insightful today. It will be exciting, at least for me, to see what unfolds during 2014 here at Καθολικός διάκονος.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now (at the beginning of this New Year), and at the hour of our death.

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