Posts Tagged ‘New Year’

First, a very Happy New Year to everyone.  I hope your time has been filled with joy and feasting.

It is fitting, I think, that the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and the first day of the new year are celebrated at the same time.  In her virgin motherhood, Mary gave the world a brand new beginning in the Word, Who “make(s) all things new” (Rev. 21:5).

Virgin Mary

The Vatican II document “Lumen Gentium” refers to Mary as the “Daughter of Sion,” and so she is.  The Hope of Israel was given to her first, and from her hands it came to Israel and the world.

I mention this as a kind of segue into a connection I want to make between Mary’s Virginity and the desert nation of Israel.  In a book called “The Hermitage Within,” an anonymous monk spoke of the desert this way:

The sea of sand, like the frozen mountain peaks, is nature in its virgin state as it issued from the Creator’s hands; on it still seems to repose the Spirit of God which hovered over the waters at the beginning of the world (“The Hermitage Within,” I.1 — bold mine)

Depending on where you live, you might think of the hardships and barrenness of winter when you read this.  And this feature of the month of January can be all the more saddening after the Christmas trees have come down, and all the holiday festivities ended.  I’m not going to go too deep into this here — I hope to do another post on this topic in the coming weeks; but I will say that if we stay close to Mother Mary, we can see this as a sort of “virgin desert” freshly prepared for new life.

Even in my life of faith, the end of the holiday season and the beginning of January have made me feel sad.  But I am finally beginning to realize something that, God-willing, will change my life for the better: Any time a new year begins, signifying that the world and humanity have made it another year, this is a fresh sign of the faithful love of the God by Whose providence all things are sustained.

Mother Mary, let us share your joy on this your day.  And if I have done anything at all to offend or dishonor you, I am so very sorry.

Image from Wikipedia

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Today, we celebrate both the dawn of the New Year and, in the liturgical calendar, the motherhood of the Virgin Mary, the Dawn who gave birth to New Day.

On this day, I can do no better than to share the prayer of blessing upon ancient Israel, which is part of the Readings for today’s Feast:

The LORD bless you and keep you!  The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!  The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace! (Numbers 6:24-26)

A Happy and Prosperous New Year to all of my readers — whoever you are, wherever you come from, and whatever your walk in life.  God loves you, and so do I!

Image from http://www.wikipedia.org


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