2014. What a year it has been! I am amazed at how quickly the years keep going by. As we keep moving forward in time, we each keep gaining more things to do and fill our time with. This year has been full of blessings without measure. I’m sure that each one of us could name our blessings in this year, but can we name the wrongs we have committed against others and whether or not we have been forgiven them? I’ll reflect on that in a moment, but first here are some of my “top” moments of 2014:
- March for Life in DC!
- Attended the 17th annual Youth 2000, my 6th or 7th one!
- Started working AGAIN at Gasper River Catholic Youth Camp & Retreat Center. What a blessing to call this place my second home in Kentucky! I love my Gasper family!
- My dear friend and brother Will Thompson was ordained a priest! Father Will had a beautiful Ordination and Mass, which I was blessed to take part in.
- I turned 20! Two decades old, nothing too special about this birthday though!
- Sponsored my cousin Raymond Musholt, as he was confirmed under the patronage of St Eligius! What a joyous day!
- Participated in St. Joseph, BG’s Corpus Christi Procession. What a wonderful procession with our Lord!
- Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary turned 10 years old!
- Started my ministry assignment at St. Joan of Arc in Indy! I love every minute of it!
- Parents and Pastors Day with the Brass Quartet and Organ!
- Attended my second ODYC! Saw lots of amazing campers and friends from across the Diocese!
- My third niece, Nora Lynn was born!
- Went on a 9 day pilgrimage to the Holy Land with my brothers from Bruté. What an amazing experience of which I will always remember!
- Saw my new niece for the first time!
- Saw my Quincy relatives for the first time in over a year!
As I think of the joys of 2014, I am also reminded of the wrongs I have done and what I must continue to do. I call to mind St. Paul’s First letter to the Thessalonians:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
It amazes me how much energy we as humans give to being angry and upset toward others. We talk about each other and gossip about who’s with who, what that person did that we didn’t like, how we are going to let that person have it because of this one time… The list goes on and on and on! We waste so much precious time being angry and upset at each other instead of giving our brothers and sisters what the Lord offers each of us at every moment: forgiveness.
Personally I struggle at times with forgiving others for their transgressions against me. Call it my german-blood, stubbornness, or just pride, it is something that I and most humans struggle with. The ability to forgive others is a virtue that we can all do with more of. So how do we get it? Well, one of the things I have done since middle school is each night, placing the names of those who irritated me, wronged me, or who are angry at me and place them at the foot of the Cross, giving them from myself to our Lord, the Just judge and letting him deal with it. Through letting Christ work on the Hearts of those who are angry at me and through forgiving those who have wronged me I tend to be a much happier person.
Now, I’m not perfect and sometimes I do tend to be angry at others, but each night I am faithful to asking our Lord to give me the grace to forgive and moving on. Each new day is a new start to be Christ to others and receive him from others into my own life. During our pilgrimage to the Holy Land a few weeks ago, Tony, our tour guide told us of the significance of “turning the other cheek.” To smack a man with the back of your hand was to take away his dignity and treat him as not human. When the man would then turn his cheek the other way, you had to smack him again with your palm, acknowledging that he was a man and deserved respect. In a way you forgave him of his wrong. As we progress to this new year, let us turn the other cheek. Let us forgive and forget. And let us devote all of our new energy to praying without ceasing for others, for building up God’s kingdom and for spreading his Gospel of love throughout the world!
2014 is a year in the books! Let’s pray for the blessings of 2015 and for the good work we will be able to accomplish together for Christ’s glory in these next 365 days! Thank-you all for your support, love, and prayers over this past year. Without them, I couldn’t be where I am today. May God reward you in this New Year
To God be the glory! To the heights!
O Mary my Mother, I consecrate to Jesus your Son, through your Immaculate Heart all of the actions, experiences, and undertakings of 2015. I ask that you watch over me in this new year as you always do, and that our Lord will bless each person that I come in contact with. Make me an humble instrument of the Lord, as you were. Help me to accept his will in my life and to surrender myself more completely to his plan. O Mary, Mother of God lead me to your Son, the source of my happiness and joy, the giver of my Salvation. Amen