Thursday, January 01, 2009

A Prayer for the New Year

Today is the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God, a title that was attributed to her formally at the Council of Ephesus (431 AD). Although the mother of Christ was venerated by Christians from the beginning, the importance of Mary's role was seen most clearly in light of the Christological dogmas regarding the dual nature of Christ (both human and divine).

The reason was simple (or relatively so): Mary did not give birth to a human nature, but to a divine person. Therefore, through the Incarnation she is rightly called the "Mother of God" even though she is a creature ... and her Son, the Incarnate Word, Eternal Creator.

Through her act of obedience, Mary fulfilled her calling and became the channel by which the original perfection of God's creation would be restored. "Behold I make all things new," says the Lord (Rev 21:5).

At the Second Coming of Christ, the Kingdom of Heaven will be restored to its original perfection. However, the Kingdom of Heaven is also a present reality, and we are to be laboring diligently to bring it about first in our own lives and homes ... and then in ever-widening circles. Each day presents another opportunity to bring the life of Christ to the world around us, a world dying for that light.

And so, as we enter the New Year, we anticipate with great hope all God has in store for us. In the past year, we have amply demonstrated that own wisdom, our own capabilities, our own resourcefulness ... all these things are in woefully short supply. Our only hope is a promise that the Lord made thousands of years ago to King Solomon, the wisest king who ever lived:

"... if my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my presence and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Almighty God and Heavenly Father,
thank you for this new year.
Another year to do your will.
Another year to hear your voice.
Another year to imitate your saints.
Another year to work.

Lord Jesus, Eternal Prince of Peace,
thank you for sharing your life with us.
Divine life that strengthens us to work.
Divine life that purifies our hearts.
Divine life that enlightens our minds.
Divine life that keeps us close to your Sacred Heart.

Holy Spirit, Keeper and Protector,
Flow through us and wipe away all that is unworthy.
Unworthy thoughts that lead us to despair,
Unworthy dreams that keep us from laboring fruitfully,
Unworthy plans that crumble at our touch.
Shine your light of truth along the chosen way.

Mother Mary, Queen of all the Saints,
pray for us, that your "Yes!" will always be on our lips.
"Yes!" to blessing and challenge alike.
"Yes!" to calling and waiting.
"Yes!" to tulmult and silence.
"Yes!" to grace, whispers of God flowing through us.
Photo credit: Anastasis Icons


Anonymous said...

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Heidi Hess Saxton said...

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