Making New Year's resolutions is something that I typically have never done. Perhaps I had a deep-seated fear that, if stated, would go something like, "Resolutions were meant to be broken so why go to the trouble? Just live a life of resolve instead." This year I decided to do things differently--my approach in the past was too vague. Sure, I'm still open to living a life of resolve all year. However, I'd like it to be somewhat more directed.
Now, I'm not going to share my resolutions with you, other than to mention that returning to blogging is part of it. For the most part resolutions tend to be private, at least mine are and besides I doubt anyone would necessarily be interested in knowing how many books I have promised myself to read, though the titles and content may come up here from time to time in the coming year.
As far as blogging and the possibility of topics goes, I'm not going to shy away from politics this year. There's just too much to set it all aside in favor of the nice, beautiful, or pious topics that occasionally dawn on me. Forget it--we'll go ahead and discuss politics along with religion, Bible, denominations, parenting, education, special education, liberalism, conservatism, traditionalism, modernism...you name it. If you care to post comments we'll make this year interesting at deacondanwright.org
This year I'm going to be open to being less restrained. I figure at my age I should go ahead and say what's on my mind. I've been holding back for almost 50 years and the only people I'll get into trouble with are those who care to read every paragraph closely. Not everything needs to be said, but often I've felt strongly that something should have been said when it wasn't. Maybe that was what swimming around in my mind when I began this blog in 2006.
Okay, now with the three-paragraph intro out of the way there's just a thing or two I want to mention today. First, besides being New Year's Day, today is the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. I was a little bothered when I arrived at the church last night to serve the vigil Mass and found that someone had put a sign on the door earlier in the day that read, "No daily Mass. New Year's Vigil tonight." I asked the parish liturgist about it and she said that she thought the pastor might have put it up. I don't know it was that the pastor put the sign on the door, but I did remark to her that it was wrong.
What we were celebrating in our Mass was much more important that the mere marking of a new year in the midst of the short and dark days of winter. In celebrating the Solemnity of the Mother of God, we not only celebrate Mary but even more we celebrate and proclaim our faith in the the divinity of Jesus Christ. I think what really bothers me is that often I notice a tendency to recoil from anything that elevates or venerates the Mother of our Lord. For me, to be Catholic means celebrating everything that Catholicism implies. It means engaging the tradition and being a part of that faith which extends to the beginning of Christianity.
Still, I wasn't disappointed necessarily with the Mass or the pastor's message in itself last night. I thought it fit in well with the continued celebration of the Christmas season; however, the message would not have satisfied you if what you were looking for was a high Marian feast--though the music, provided by our contemporary musicians, was in keeping with the tone of the feast.
Part of my resolve this year is to tackle a few things that I've avoided in the past and to face things with the sense that there's not a real need to fear failure. As I read Psalm 149 as part of today's Morning Prayer I was struck with the contrast of it. I've read it hundreds of times but it never seemed so stark that the God whom we praise, the God of peace who comes into the world by the "yes" of the humble Virgin, promises us that we shall take swords in our hands and bind our enemies in shackles of iron, exacting the vengeance of Lord. Naturally, I don't give the psalm a literal interpretation as some might for, say, going to war, but for me it's a great affirmation of the hope that I have in the God who has come into the world, born as an infant, to save humanity and offer us victory against the greatest darkness and all our fears and challenges.
My resolution this year, plainly put, is to face my fears and challenges--and express my hope and vision--with resolve and with faith in the victory of the God who became a man. I'll be posting frequently.