January 1st is the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. It is a time for us to reflect on her outstanding characteristics. I especially focus on her Annunciation, because it is so powerful. Mary, in her time of history, as a young woman betrothed, would never make a life altering decision without first seeking the guidance of her husband to be, her parents and/or the temple priest. In her encounter with the angel Gabriel, she exhibits the first signs of “pondering all of these things in her heart and reflecting on them” she takes counsel alone with her soul and makes a very independent decision of “YES” to God with her own authority. This is extremely powerful, her decision is based on her own free will.
This is one of the many reasons she is such a great example for us to follow. We might try to be more reflective and meditative like her this coming year. To discipline ourselves to make quiet time with God and our soul. To be more in tune with God’s will for us in our lives and to make healthier, better choices. The Shepherds in the Gospel reading today, heard the good news and responded by becoming bearers of it to Mary. This story again shows Mary listening, being reflective and pondering it all in her heart. There is a time for being the bearer of Good news and there is also a time to be the listener. The best teachers continue in life to be students growing in wisdom.
There is a Franciscan tradition of picking a saint for the new year, to journey with you and pray with you through all that you encounter. Actually the tradition states that the Saint actually picks you. I ask you in keeping with tradition, that before you click on the link below to find out which Saint chose you for your spiritual journey in 2014 that you pray first. A little quick prayer asking the Holy Spirit to invade this search engine clearing the way for your chosen saint to enter. Please feel free to share your saint with those of us reading this post. If you get a saint that you never heard of before you will enjoy learning about them. I was chosen this year by St. Charles Luwanga a martyr.
I thank you for supporting me by reading and responding to my blog posts. You mean the world to me and for this New Year of 2014 my prayer for you is to live calmly, peacefully and to connect deeply with the love of Christ that reigns on the inside of you, to be healthy, happy and brimming with joy.
Oh and before I close I saw this post on Facebook by “it’s a lovely life” and thought “wow” what a great idea and decided to repost it here for each of you to consider doing for 2014. Have a great year! Dawn