When the new year approached, as most people did, I set my mind on resolutions. Last year was a mess. I took advantage of that mess by retreating. This year I want to do better because. (You can pretty much finish that sentence as you wish.)
The typical resolutions crossed my mind: exercise more – I mean really move, for the sake of my bones, not just yoga, my preferred mode of movement because it’s calm and fluid; write my third children’s novel (a VERY lofty goal); finish Granddaughter’s cross-stitched Christmas stocking (a mildly lofty goal, if “lofty” can be qualified). Is there anything else? Well, these goals are an uninspired list of things to accomplish. There must be something else – something that can move me forward, not just sideways. Something real. A change for me to move me away from my old favorite default behaviors. Dare I aspire to saintliness?
Then the mysterious sign appeared: I read an article. (Imagine angels singing.) The author cited eight spiritual goals for the new year. That’s what I’ve been searching for, or rather, that is that for which I have been searching. (I just can’t let go of English grammar and usage. I want an American English Academy the way the French have their language police, the French Academy. But that’s another post for another day.)
Marian devotion, spiritual reading, good stewardship, sharing faith, penance, extra Mass, and saying the Rosary are seven of the eight suggestions (in a nutshell) that helped me wade through 2020. More like helped me to “push through” 2020. Last year rudely shoved – like people at a Mardi Gras parade fighting over a doubloon – but guidance came from many places to teach me perseverance, to strengthen me enough to push back. But it was the eighth resolution that gave me pause: Find a new saint buddy, a saint whose life you would like to emulate, or one whom you admire but whose intercession you have never sought.
I thought and thought and thought some more. Should I pray about this? Will someone just give me a sign, or do I actively look? So many saints, so little time! The obvious came to mind – St. Jude, patron saint of hopeless causes. Sometimes I feel like a hopeless cause. But he’s probably sick of me by now, I’ve called on him so much in the last year. Not really, he’s a saint. Of hopeless causes. He doesn’t get sick of poor sinners like me. But I’ll give him a rest for a while, even though he never asked that of me. St. Agnes – patron saint of little girls, a girl herself when she was martyred. I feel as though I am the one who should pray for her – like any grandmother would do for an innocent child. St. Lucy – also martyred at a young age, her eyes gouged by her tormentors. I want to protect her, too. Our Lady of Prompt Succor – patron saint of Louisiana. She has saved us so many times, but she is not “new” to me. The venerable St. Joseph – This is his year, you know? The pope has dedicated 2021 to him. St. Joseph is well familiar with me, too. He was a foster father, loving his child, watching his child grow and live and die. The fact that he did not father the child made him no less a father. Maybe I should I call on St. Michael, the Archangel? I seek comfort in living in a chaotic, frightening world full of mean, greedy, wretched people. St. Michael doesn’t put up with people’s foolishness, nor Satan’s.
Among all of the things I seek to improve this year, strength reigns sovereign; that is, the courage to be resolute when I must take a stand, but compromising when acceptance is the best option. Who will help guide me spiritually on my journey to find personal peace without becoming a wet noodle or a doormat? The same woman keeps answering me: St. Anne, the mother of Mary, the grandmother of Jesus. It is my womanly heart that suffers. St. Anne understands what it’s like to wait, to persevere, and to trust. She understands a woman’s worries and longings.
St. Anne is the example I choose to emulate this year. Her strengths are my weaknesses. Her life is an inspiration. Her faith is my example.
Blessings and benedictions to all of you in 2021!
Curt Mekemson said:
Soulfully written. 🙂 –Curt
Saint Anne sounds like a wonderful companion-guide to walk with you this year. I also feel good about all the reasons you chose her. I keep turning toward the Holy, finding It, losing conscious connection with It, finding It again. Learning to trust in what’s being revealed moment by moment. Like you’re trusting in Saint Anne. 💗
Yes, it is a continuous dance we do with the Holy, isn’t it? I will keep reading your words, too. The subject might change, but there is always inspiration to find. XOXO
It is indeed! And I am always writing about the Holy—always have been the last 12 years—but don’t always use the words. 💗
I hang on your words, when you choose to express yourself that way. 🙂
For example–I think of sauntering as an act of walking with the Holy Spirit. The Holy guides and uses our body to turn, to look, to move, to go here, go there. Sauntering is an act of surrender to the divine. That’s what I’m thinking and feeling even when writing what looks like an ordinary post about strolling. It’s a metaphor for our relationship with God.
Well, yes, and I understand this when reading your posts. Everything is spiritually inspired – but it takes a keen eye to notice, and a clever writer to express it.
Martha Mercado said:
Beautiful thoughts! May we all strive to take a stand and be willing to compromise when acceptance is the best option. I’ll take these words and incorporate them into the situations that may arise in this new year.
Thank you, Martha. It has taken me a long year of grief and introspection to figure out how to move forward. I always think of you when I struggle: What would Martha do!?! You are and always been a source of inspiration, my friend. XOXO
Kay Mehochko said:
This was Beautifully written as always, Stacy! Thank you for sharing your deepest thoughts and desires with us in such an honest and open way. As I read this, I felt like I was looking through a small window into your
heart and soul. In 2021, I am choosing to spend more time in with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by Bible Study, Daily quiet time and prayer! I want my life to be a Light in this dark world. May He shine through me!
Praying that your sweet family are safe and healthy! Keep writing! I’m excited to read what’s coming next! 💗
It sounds like we desire the same things. I read that 80% of Americans start their day by checking their phones!I hope to make this a better year by reconnecting to the spiritual. Thanks for your encouraging words. XOXO