Saturday, December 31, 2022

Seventh Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord

The Month of December Dedicated to Advent and the Coming of Christ

Saint: Pope Saint Sylvester I (-335)

Readings of the Day

Rule of Saint Benedict: Ch 73 This Rule Only the Beginning of Perfection

Mass: 1 Jn 2:18-21; Resp Ps 96; Jn 1:1-18

Let the plains be joyful and all that is in them.


Children, it is the last hour.
(1 Jn 2:18)

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died this morning at 9:34 a.m. (CET). We thank him for his humble and simple witness as he served God and the Church in love. May he rest in peace.

On this last day of 2022, with the death of the Pope Emeritus and our preparation for the coming year 2023, it is a good day to take inventory and make this day, as all days, count, and be grateful for every moment given to us on this earth. United in faith and prayer, we are on this journey to everlasting life together, no matter our state in life, and are reminded of this by Saint Rafael Arnaiz, in a letter to his maternal grandmother: "We think that devotion, penance, and talking about spiritual things is the domain of the vowed religious, but that's not true ... This life is short, as you well know, being near the end of it. When we present ourselves before God, He will make demands of all of us-according to what He has given us, of course. And then we will see how much time we have foolishly wasted on trivial things and worldly interests ... Let's not waste time, for there is so little left ... this is true for you as it is for me. I've been an inch from death and I wasn't afraid ... I was joyful, even. God did not will it, so may it be when He wills; sooner or later, it's all the same to me ... And meanwhile, let us love life; for God gives it to us, so we must love it, even with its sufferings and sorrows. Let us praise Him without ceasing and at all times."

Last night, not knowing that Pope Benedict XVI would die in a few hours, I thought to include in today's reflection what I was reading from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, God and the World: A Conversation with Peter Seewald (Ignatius, 2002), p. 39. Maybe Cardinal Ratzinger was giving me a nudge so here it is.

The life beyond gives me the criteria and gives this life the importance and seriousness that I need in order to live, not just for the moment, but in such a way that in the end my life means something, has some value-and not only for me, but more generally. The God who grants our prayers does not take away our responsibility but in fact teaches us to be responsible. He leads us to live out what is set before us in a responsible fashion and thereby to become worthy in the end to stand before Him. 

Today's photo: Another one from the daily morning regimen. 

© Gertrude Feick 2022

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