Holy Mother Church recognizes each day of the week, each month of the year and even a year itself carries unique characteristics. She has set aside certain devotional practices for each day, month, and sometimes in a very special way a year as we have seen Pope Benedict XVI name this year, The Year of Faith. We too can attach a particular intention, virtue or focus to our days, months and years.
We have taken up this noble practice here at Suscipio by following the custom of setting aside Tuesday’s as a day to recommend ourselves and the prayers close to our heart to St Martha.
There is a common practice of “Naming” the year by setting aside a word for the year; a focal point to direct our days, weave our weeks together and attach month to blessed month. Just as a North Star, or the straight arrow of a compass will redirect the lost, weary and confused so our word for the year can gently lead us back on the path we have set out for ourselves. All steps are directed by God the Father, but the way in which we choose to walk is up to us.
We may begin the year with the grand and noble idea of working on our patience, so we name the year “Patience.” And in the course of the year, not only are we given the opportunity to work on our patience level–meaning our temper, or or reaction to life’s little annoyances–the good God may see fit to lead us to a deeper appreciation of patience as we await medical results, employment after a layoff, or the patience that can only be found in the depths of grief. The Lord may refine our patience as we grow large and heavy with new life tucked deep within our womb…or new life held deep within our heart. The body of patience can carry a variety of meat and bones.
In years past I have focused on such words as Trust, Joy, and Abide. And now another year has chosen its name. As I began praying about this year, “simple” kept coming to mind…but that it not my word for the year. As I looked up the definition and synonyms for simple, quiet caught my eye…but that is not my word for the year. One of the synonyms for quiet reached out and grabbed me–a kindred word to humble, lowly, meek, moderate, nice, proper, prudent, quiet, silent, simple, temperate and unassuming.
This new year has chosen to be to focused on what is good without being distracted by irrelevant superficiality. A word where life is essential, rewards are superfluous and nature opens to a wider world where ornamentation stifles. A year which contains the essence of self-forgetfulness.* I will take the words of Emily Dickinson to heart as I continue to wade through the fickle and ever-changing world. I will remind myself the internet serves me and not the other way around.
“My barefoot rank is better,” Emily Dickinson said and I type these words out on January 1st, sitting in my pajamas…barefoot.
I rang in the New Year with my family and friends at 11pm Mass, and literally, when the clock struck midnight and fireworks were exploding throughout the neighborhood, and the Times Square Ball slowly descended, so did our Lord’s body and blood in father’s hands upon the altar. I was focused on the supreme Good and the essential Life. The virtue of modesty in thought, word and deed encompassed my new year.
My word for 2013 is
Welcome back ladies to Suscipio–a place of support, acceptance for the Catholic Woman.
*above quotes taken from an article entitled “The Virtue of Modesty” by Donald Demarco.