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Archive for December, 2005

New Year – Feast of Mary

Posted by frmac on December 31, 2005

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Today is such a special day! As we begin the New Year, we give homage to Mary, the Mother of God, continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus,the Prince of Peace, and pray for world peace on this World Day of Peace. The words given by Moses to Aaron on how to give a blessing seem so appropriate for the New Year celebration:

The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!





The Lord’s face has indeed shone upon us, for this is what Christmas is all about. In Jesus we see the face of God. And like Mary his mother, we take the time to treasure this saving event, and ponder its meaning for us.

Archbishop Denis J. Hart of Mebourne, Autralia shared some of his thoughts – ponders in a New Year’s message:

“….the way in which God came at Christmas is one not of violence, but of gentleness. Despite the lack of goodness and love in the world God is still tender and loving. The answer to today‚Äôs problems is gentleness, tenderness, love rather than selfishness. God came precisely that we might together change the world. My friends, this Christmas brings a new way of thinking and acting, a new hope that together we can reshape the world, a trust in the value of each other – these are what Jesus offers us because in the darkness of our world Jesus has shone.”





There is one resolution that all of us should consider this New Year: Take more time to PONDER the face of God! Like Mary, we are called to participate in God’s saving ways – each an every one of us has a part to play. Will we ask the Lord to show us the way, trusting and hoping in the Prince of Peace, Jesus, Our Good Shepherd.

We all know that God’s ways are not our ways, and there are times in our life that we need to reflect, ponder, pray for the Lord’s help and guidance. Yet we often become impatient, sometimes doubts arise, and our confidence and enthusiasm dwindles. Fr. Martin R. Bartel gives us this little story to inspire us:

The Swollen Fox

“A very hungry Fox, seeing some bread and meat left by shepherds in the hollow of an oak tree, crept into the hole and made a hearty meal. When he finished, he was so full that he was not able to get out, and began to groan and lament his fate. Another Fox passing by heard his cries, and coming up, inquired the cause of his complaining. On learning what had happened, he said to him, “Ah, you will have to remain there, my friend, until you become such as you were when you crept in, and then you will easily get out.”



Time often deadens our Pain, and even solves our problems, but not always effectively. Waitng upon the Lord, means to ponder and pray for insight, and God’s will for us. If we wait in bitterness, anger, unforgivenss, and not open out hearts to God’s grace – pondering in trust -then our problems often compound and poison our life, and the lives of others.

(To be Continued)



Pope Benedict offers us his ponders this New Year. Speaking to all peoples and nations, he calls everyone to look into their hearts and to discover God’s way of peace. Peace, he says, is like a special fruit that we harvest when we live according to God’s order and plan for us. It is a heavenly gift from our creator that corresponds to an irrepressible yearning and hope dwelling within all of us. Not letting anyone off the hook of responsibility for peace, he states that it is of the highest reponsibility for all to discern and conform in truth, justice, freedom and love to the the divine order implanted in the human heart by God at creation.

And pondering the crib and the face of Jesus, he reminds us that Jesus is the embodiment of peace – the one who offers the full truth about humanity and about human history. Jesus is the truth which gives us peace. And, by the power of his grace makes it possible to live “in” and “by” the truth.

Reflecting and pondering on the world situation, Benedict states: “Whenever there is a loss of fidelity to the transcendent order, and a loss of respect for the universal moral law written on human hearts, whenever the integral development of the person and the protection of his fundamental rights are hindered or denied, whenever countless people are forced to endure intolerable injustices and inequalities, how can we hope that the good of peace will be realized? The essential elements which make the truth of that good are missing.

Finally, Sister Christine shares a ponder with us, as she reflects on Christmas (click pictures, if you would like to read or see more from Sr. Christine and Our Lady’s Missionaries: pictures etc. ):

“Actually, these past few weeks,” she writes, “have been kind of difficult for me, as everyone I know, and many people whom I don’t know, have come to me asking for a Christmas gift. Each time it happened, I got a bit grumpier. A few days back it sudenly struck me (at community prayer):

The Poor getting something,

getting enough,

from those of us who have too much,


I was the one who wasn’t getting It!”

Let us promise the Lord that we will take the time to ponder this New Year.

Happy New Year,


Fr. Bob

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