I have a few thoughts to ring around the kingdom come today, as 2011 is here.
Celebrating the secular New Year has always felt bizarre to me. Besides the 4th of July New Year’s Eve/Day is actually my least favorite holiday. It always makes me unsure what to do with myself. I want to mock: Hooray, we made it around the sun another time without imploding! Hooray, we have not yet killed ourselves and earth by our endless greed and power-struggles. (Of course we haven’t killed ourselves yet; death is rarely sudden.) Although I am tempted to say these things at parties, I remember to mind my manners and just smile instead.
My real prayers are much more deep and universal. Plus, my rejoicing is very ordinary like everyday clothes. My genuine cheers are more like this: Hooray, God gives us another chance! Wow, with God all things are new! Also, praise God, my community is praying all the time!
Certainly, New Year’s is not an evil holiday. I just have trouble getting into it. It’s not really the new year when it’s the middle of the Christmas season. You see, I follow the Christian- more specifically the Roman Catholic calendar- more well, religiously, than the common one. For me, 2011 began on November 21st, on the Feast of Christ the King. In November in um, 2010, I actually had to think twice when I wrote checks because I kept getting confused about what year it technically was.
Nonetheless, I am always grateful for an excuse to be with my community and pray- not that I really need an excuse since that’s what my life is all about. I wasn’t at the motherhouse in La Crosse, WI this new year holiday, so I didn’t get to attend the annual and very cool blessing of time prayer service.
Instead, I gathered with other sisters in my community who are “on mission” here in Chicago. We ate silly finger food and drank sparkling juice out of wine glasses then blew kisses across the living room when 2011 arrived. It was a blessing- as always- to pray, chat, laugh, play and rest with phenomenal women. It was so much fun!
I hope you are also able to pause and celebrate our blessed journey and pray for peace with some people you love. As you do, know that I wish you and yours a Happy Belated New Year! And, Happy 2011 too!