By Fr. Mike Boutin
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24)
Listen to this YouTube clip of John Rutter's "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" with the Cambridge Singers. Beautiful!
New Year's Eve always makes me melancholy. There's something about "waiting for the ball to drop" and "Auld Lang Syne" (whatever that means!), that makes my heart sad...
"It's just another day," a lot of people say. "It's just a new page on the calendar," others observe. But for me, New Year's marks endings and beginnings, and a moment of introspection and observation.
For what do I have to give thanks in this past year? Which successes, opportunities, or moments of grace have I experienced? Where have I seen God lurking behind a corner, waiting for me to notice? What joys have I experienced? For whom and for what am I truly grateful in this past year?
For what do I need to repent this past year? Who have I hurt? Who have I disappointed or put down? What have I failed to do? Which opportunities for charity or love or mercy have I missed or ignored? What do I regret in this past year?
Last year, did I do enough? Is the world a better place because I breathed for another year?
2010, welcome! What opportunities will you provide me if I have an open heart? Who will come into my life next year? Who will leave? Where will God be? And where will I be? How will the world be a better place next year because of me? What can I do each day to make my life and my world better? How can I be changed next year? How will God change me?
2009, farewell... 2010, welcome!
Now watch the ball drop... and pray.....
Father Mike Boutin is the co-pastor of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Walpole, MA, and travels widely, leading pilgrimages throughout the world to various Catholic religious sites. He is a frequent speaker on liturgy, music, spirituality, and pastoral ministry.