Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year

Today, 1 January, Roman Catholics the world over celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. Additionally, for the fifty-first year, Catholics also observe the World Day of Peace.

Despite 2017 being a light year for blogging, I ended the year in a flurry of activity. As a dedicated Catholic blogger, I felt not posting something on New Year's day would be too much of an oversight. Despite not having anything really profound to convey in this post, I wanted to say to both my readers, Happy New Year!

I don't mind admitting that the past two years have been a little difficult for me. I often reflect on how easy it is to convey a false image online. But I assure you, my life is filled with its challenges, failures, disappointments, arguments, and frustrations. I often grow frustrated with others, with circumstances, and, most of all, with myself. I also must admit that I find maintaining this weblog quite therapeutic. So much so that I would say this past year would've been easier had I taken more to time to reflect on things the way this blog causes me to reflect, which is by helping me to see the bigger picture. I hope that by trying to see and write about the bigger picture without losing touch with reality you find reading what I have to write helpful. I would be the first to say, don't feel obligated to spend time here. Time is the currency of existence spend it wisely. Whether you read what I write or not my pay ($0) remains the same.

In order to have more peace in my life and to enhance the quality of my life, 2018 is the year I am going to significantly alter my relationship to the digital, or cyber, world. Besides having a lot to do, I just want to be happier and less encumbered by the constant assault of social media. What this will entail remains to be seen. I am planning how to manage things. Most of all, I need to spend more time in silence and more time praying. This is not a matter of getting back to any period of time during which I felt closer to the Lord, but a matter of moving forward.



It is easy in our current circumstances to see nothing but dark clouds gathering over the world. In his Urbi et orbi Christmas message, Pope Francis noted that "the winds of war are blowing in our world." Being less connected online is not an attempt to ignore reality. Rather, I want to connect more deeply. In the words of the song, "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me." For peace to begin with me, peace must begin within me. I need to be more at peace in order to live more peaceably with others and be a force for peace in the world, in my community, in my workplace, in my parish, and in my family.

All of this makes me chuckle a bit because writing about it makes it seem so easy. Paradoxically, peace requires a struggle. 2018 is a year for me to really engage in that struggle. One of the means I will use to engage in the struggle for peace is the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I pray the Rosary now almost daily. But I usually pray it on-the-go, not meditatively. Among my goals is to pray the Rosary in a meditative manner at least a few times a week. There are other contemplative practices I need to either resume or begin.

In any case, I do not plan to stop posting here. On the contrary, I plan to continue because blogging, believe it or not, is a source of peace for me. How regularly, as I mentioned yesterday, remains to be seen. One Rosary intention for the New Year is for everyone who reads this blog- that they may be blessed by so doing. Whether being blessed by reading what I post means being consoled, encouraged, or challenged I leave up to the Holy Spirit.

May the peace of God, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, be with you as you embark upon this New Year.

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