Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dec 31 – St. Sylvester, Pope

“Few people realize that on the last day of the year the Church commemorates the first pope after the terrible centuries of persecution by the Roman empire. Although he was not the very first bishop of Rome to die in bed, he surely grew up thinking he was going to be a martyr. As a boy he lived through the most ferocious persecution of all, that of Diocletian. Only a few years before he was elected pope in 314, the first decree of toleration of Christians was issued. One may suppose he made the same mistake we all make when times of terrible trial are over, that of thinking that things are finally going to work out and all will be peaceful with blue skies and roses.”

“Saint Sylvester’s feast falls on New Year’s Eve, when we happily bid the old year good-bye and wistfully hope that the next year will be better. For this reason each year the fourth-century pope always has a lesson for us: Keep going! Don’t look back! Look ahead and trust God, but don’t trust the next year will be wonderful. Rather be convinced that God will go with you. Christ will walk with anyone who invites him along. The Lord is my shepherd. Why should I be afraid? I don’t expect everything will be wonderful next year; in fact, one of these years will be my last one on earth. I don’t expect blue skies every day; that would mean a drought. But I do know that I will not be alone, because the lips of the man who was born in Bethlehem would say as he left this world thirty years later: “I will be with you always even to the end of the world” (Mt 28:20). “

Lord Jesus, as I end another year and prepare for the next one, make me ever more aware of Your presence. Help me to rest in Your presence even more than I have in the past. Help me spread the knowledge, the fragrance of Your presence wherever I go. Let more and more people know that You are with them, even in these anxious times. May this year, more than any previous one, be spent in Your presence. Amen.
Behold He Comes – Meditation on the Incarnation, by Benedict Groeschel, CFR

Not surprisingly, Fr. Benedict puts into words what is in my heart much better than I could. In many ways 2009 was a great blessing, in the midst of so many trials. I know, things could always have been worse. I look forward to 2010 with trepidation, and prayers. I am confident that if I do my best, and have trust in God, things will turn out well.

I will pray they turn out well for you, also.

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