Contemplating The New Year…

Contemplating the new year…

As we enter the new year, many people make big plans , grand plans, with huge goals and big ideas.  New Year should mean new changes.

The perennial big things deal with diet, weight loss, time management some changes on the personal level that are purported to bring us closer to some eutopian existance.
Although the official 12 days of Christmas are over, Epiphany passed.. we still linger in spirit of Christmas until the Presentation of the Lord..   a little while later Lent begins..

THat can kind of be a bummer for those who just did not get enough of the Christmas spirit and still are in the festive mood.


Consider for a time that the Lenten Season, is not really all that far from Advent.  There is a season of waiting.  of longing.  Both Advent and Lent are periods of time which beckon us to enter into the mystery of God.

But I digress.. I will talk more about Lent when we get closer to it.

So we are in the new year.   What new resolutions did you make ?  How are they holding up ?  Consider for a moment why you made this or that resolution or goal. Are you making something better, getting something out of it ?  Will you be truly happy for doing it ?
If you are going to make changes in your life, major or minor there should be some balanced approach to making that decision.

Spiritual, Mental and Physical.

Our decision making processes should center around our faith.    Not only as a matter of making decisions based on the letter of the Law, but on the spirit of the law as well.

For instance, let us say that you are making a change from paper napkins to cloth napkins.

From a Franciscan view point this has several benefits.  From an outside point of view one might think its crazy to think God , creator of the universe, cares what you wipe your mouth with at the dinner table.

BUT.. lets look at the many facets that this entails..First it is better for creation. You will not be purchasing paper that eventually gets treated with all sorts of chemicals that eventually end up in a landfill somewhere.
In this way you are being a good steward of creation.

It means that you are not spending money. Another good thing. But these are superficial to the larger point.

Is it good for creation, yes. The larger picture is that you are not only being a good steward of the graces that God has given to you. but it also means that you are sharing that grace with yoru brothers and sisters. It means that you are caring for the gift that you have been entrusted with.

The little changes that we make in conjunction with our faith tend to have multi-faceted benefits, some of which might begin at a lower level view, but then have added graces that occur as a result that ultimately lead to our sanctification.
It may start with a change to save money. To be a good steward of the financial gifts we are given. But much like our Lenten jouney, it really is not about giving up this or that.. it is about what we do with our time, talent, and treasure.  To extend the process by sharing these with our brothers and sisters and building the kingdom of God.

Let us approach our lives as gift, as good stewards, and caretakers of the many blessings we have been given..

May God give you the gift of his peace !



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