2020 Vision. Catholic New Years Resolutions Resolved.
The end approacheth…of 2019. Will we be given 20/20 vision in the year ahead, particularly soulward? While the TV goes on and on about end-of-year car deals, resolutions that include weight loss, biking, running, not to mention health options, retirement options, banking options, I have yet to see any ads for the spiritual options. You know, otherworldly things, the truly important resolutions we need to make as we tread this vale of tears.
My youngest son started me on this late December reverie. I am in a little town north of Minneapolis, once again teen-sitting the grandkids again. It was only supposed to be for one night but there was a delay in their little brother’s discharge from the Mayo Clinic facilities and I am here for Sunday, thoroughly unprepared. All I have are my household grubby clothes to wear to Mass and an old outdoor jacket suitable only for snow shoveling. And no hair curlers. Oh vanity of vanities!
Jesus helps us Refocus for the Future
“It’s how you act and the things you do,” Joe reminded me.
Good point. And a good shove toward thinking about the whole concept of being a follower of Christ. What would Jesus do? Exactly what He did: He prayed; He was patient with His Apostles; He served; He sacrificed Himself for us. He is Agape. At the Last Supper, He prayed for His Apostles. He gave Himself to them and said, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” Perhaps this means not just the actions of Holy Mass but also the whole idea of giving Himself – we should be giving ourselves in like manner in remembrance of Him.
He started with prayer, in fact, everything He did was preceded with prayer. I don’t always start that way. It’s become more of an if I have time rather than taking time. Last year, stricken with an odd ailment that required treatment with mega-doses of antivirals and steroids, I needed a lot of bed rest. And what do you do when you cannot even see to read? Pray the Rosary. The Luminous Mysteries coincided with the liturgical readings. Why hadn’t I noticed this before? It was a great experience. So why didn’t I continue the practice? Healing brought busy-ness. Resolution: For 2020, I need to make time, in fact start the day with knee time, not rush at the midnight hour like racing some time clock to get done with the last Memorare “on time.”
What would Jesus do? Certainly not mutter “moron” at the driver going too slow in front of me. Certainly not fume when a person is unable to understand the point I am trying to make. The grandson incarcerated at St. Mary’s Hospital/Mayo Clinic is the epitome of patience. He has been hospitalized almost 2 months and waits, day after day, for blood tests to show enough improvement for him to go home. It started with heart surgery followed by acute renal failure, ICU, blood pressure issues, more ICU. There is no reason to struggle against it, only endure. He is enduring. He’s 9.
The freely given little things done for another, not wishing someone would do the same for me, not wanting attention for doing it, just doing it. I need to take a lesson from my daughter who has Down Syndrome, allegedly not as mentally acute as the rest of us. But with an uncluttered mind, she can do her cleaning job thoroughly, she can volunteer at the Communion service and Mass at a nearby nursing home, help the residents get back to their rooms. No questions asked, no quid pro quo. She will hold doors as parishioners come and leave church, shake hands with elderly at the time of Peace.
One of the Italian priests as a local parish is fairly new at the altar and he preaches from the heart. He made mention of a person’s attitude “while making the little sacrifices during the day.” I haven’t heard that in years. Does anyone do that anymore? But he said it like it was a normal expectation for us, not long ago in a faraway place, but now, today, this minute, walking away from the bag of cookies or the liquor bottle or second helping for a greater purpose, a greater good. If I had taken that more seriously I wouldn’t be extra large right now. Perhaps sacrifice of the mouth would be good too.
Unconditional love, freely given, freely lived for the benefit of others. The “others” don’t need to be distant, a grumpy husband will do, as will a crying child, a pregnant woman on the hotline at the Life Care Center, a corner of the Food Shelf that needs stacking. Leave self at the door.
The point is reflection and revision. Reflect on what has gone before and revise what needs to be changed for the future, not long distance but now. So while I am here in what I refer to as the boondocks, I see the task ahead, not January 1, but right now in that third load of laundry, in the unprepared-for trek to church (good for humility), in the afternoon silence which begs for prayer.
This article, 2020 Vision. Catholic New Years Resolutions Resolved. is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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