So the year 2016 is past, the year 2017 has begun. The world, our country has been afflicted by violence whether by state sponsored or terrorist sponsored attacks. Many times the violence has been random. The call of “Peace on Earth; Goodwill to all!” seems to ring hollow during this holiday season.
Our country has been through the most raucous presidential election season, since the early days of the Republic! And it has revealed that there are deep divisions in our nation. The concept of civil discourse and debate seems to have flown out of the window. And we have elected a person as President that many do not respect; that others are a little concerned about his style of governance; and what it portends for the next four years
While engaged in Morning Prayer, I came across this verse from Psalm 42 “Why are you downcast my soul; why do you groan within me? Wait for God, whom I shall praise again, my savior and my God.” This will be verse I think will become my new mantra for this coming year.
On New Year’s Eve, I joined my wife at a worshipping community she goes to; and participated in a Burning Bowl ceremony. We were invited to write down on a slip of flash paper, something negative we wanted God’s help in taking away from us. We then placed the slips in a bowl that had a small fire; which consumed the petitions. It was very moving.
The year of 2016 has been a year of some changes for me personally. I finally found employment at a South Shore company; starting in January, 2016. So I will be entering my second year of employment, and it has been good. The commute is long, two hours to and back; using commuter train and subway. I am always telling people that at least someone else is doing the driving.
In September of this year, I will be entering my fifth year as an ordained Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church. I cannot believe that much time has passed. I have been assigned to three Beverly, MA, parishes; where most of my work has been liturgical, assisting at 5 of Masses celebrated in two of three parishes. It seems a lot; but I have experienced spiritual aid, that helps me perform my sacred duties well. The Deacon has several ways of service he offers to the Church; a service of Worship, service of the Word, and a service of Charity. I am still reflecting and discerning what that means in my daily life. What role should daily prayer, daily reading, and meditating of Scripture should have. I am not where I think I should be. Maybe, this New Year, I will find some guidance; and perhaps some improvement.
A New Year begins, a year of fear, a year of anxiety, but also a year of hope, a year of change, and a year of trust in the Lord.