My dear graduates of Chaminade, Kellenberg Memorial, and St. Martin de Porres Marianist School,
On January 1st, we celebrate the New Year. It is a time to look back on the previous year as we look forward to the next one.
We can look back on the blessings of the year. God has blessed us all so much, but we do not always recognize it. New Year’s Day allows us time to reflect on those blessings. When we stop to think, we realize how blessed we are. We have our families. We live in a free country. We do not have to worry about our next meal. These are blessings that we sometimes ignore, because they are so much a part of our lives. If we spent the time, we could think of hundreds of blessings we have received over the past year. New Year’s Day is a time to stop and thank God for His many gifts to us.
New Year’s Day can also be a time of new beginnings, as we resolve to mend our past failings and do better in the coming year. Often, these resolutions only last for a few days before we are back to our usual ways.
A Catholic website has looked at Pope Francis’ speeches and put together a list of Ten New Year’s resolutions for every Catholic:
1. Don't gossip.
2. Finish your meals.
3. Make time for others.
4. Choose the “more humble” purchase.
5. Meet the poor “in the flesh.”
6. Stop judging others.
7. Befriend those who disagree.
8. Make commitments, such as marriage.
9. Make it a habit to “ask the Lord.”
10. Be happy.
Not a bad list. We could spend our whole lives on any one of those.
For Catholics, each day is New Year’s Day. At night prayer each night, the Brothers are asked to look back over the day and thank God for His blessings and ask God for His forgiveness. Each day, God gives us the opportunity to start afresh. Let us take up that opportunity each day.
On New Year’s Day, we also celebrate the feast of Mary, the Mother of God. This feast reminds us that Mary was not only the mother of the human Jesus; she bore God in her womb. Last year, Pope Francis spoke about this great gift in his homily on January 1.
“Mary is exactly what God wants us to be, what He wants his Church to be: a Mother who is tender and lowly, poor in material goods and rich in love, free of sin and united to Jesus, keeping God in our hearts and our neighbor in our lives,” he said.
As we begin this new year, let us resolve to turn to Mary, who is God’s mother and our mother. Let us make her an example for us. Let us be rich in love and united to Jesus.
May God bless all of you this coming year.
On behalf of all my Marianist Brothers,
Bro. John McGrory
P.S. Don’t forget to register for “One Quiet Moment,” our retreat for college-age men. Our bi-annual retreats provide you with a great opportunity to spend some time with the Lord in a favorite setting from your high-school years. They also are a great way to re-connect with your high-school friends and your Marianist teachers.
Our featured speaker for “One Quiet Moment” is Fr. Daniel Griffin, S.M. The retreat takes place at the Meribah Retreat House and begins at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 2. We will wrap up by 3:00 p.m. the following day, Thursday, January 3.
Use the following link to register for the retreat:
Hope to see you there!