By Sister Julie Myers, OSF
The past two months have been a whirlwind of activity and change! Think about it—we went from Thanksgiving to Advent, fall to winter, Christmas to New Years and in a few short days we will transition liturgically into ordinary time. What purpose do these seasons hold if we simply allow them to pass us by? How can they enrich us and challenge us and take us to deeper levels of meaning if we don’t engage with their content? I believe each of these seasons hold their own gift of life for each of us.
I love that thanksgiving begins it all! How can one prepare their advent heart for the new life of the Christ child, if they first have not stopped to consider what they are thankful for? What are the 2016 events, opportunities, experiences, people and blessings you are thankful for? Write them down on a piece of paper and place it on your nightstand. Each night before going to bed, take two minutes to review your list and whisper a prayer of thanksgiving. This helps to develop a sense of gratitude and to realize all is gift.
The Christmas season brings with it a burst of light—the light of the Christ-child—that lives within each of our hearts. It is there to dispel the darkness of our regrets, sorrows, and the burdens we carry. This beautiful beam of light is our guide so that we can live forward into each day of the New Year. Consider the areas of your life you would like to work on—what needs changing? What do you want to be different or better? How can you take personal ownership to make the changes happen? Make a list of three or four resolutions that are obtainable. Pin this list on a wall or place it in a space where you get ready in the morning. Make a personal commitment to give effort to one of the resolutions.
The power to change your life lies within you. Live the Christmas light gifted to you and the New Year will hold surprise, wisdom and wonder. And just maybe your list of resolutions will become your list of thanksgiving! A blessed and joyous New Year to you!