Happy New Year and thanks for your prayers! Seven weeks after shoulder surgery, I’ve happily returned to work, while continuing with a thrice-weekly regiment of physical therapy. The silver lining in my month recuperating was greater time to pray and reflect upon the many intentions received from you. I personally read and pray over each slip of white paper sent back to me before having them placed in the sanctuary of our priory chapel near the tabernacle. As the humble gifts of bread and wine are offered to God to be transformed at each Eucharist, so are your sincere and humble petitions right alongside them. As you generously support our family, we faithfully, joyfully support yours!
In my first foray outside the priory since surgery (with a reluctant, nervous prior’s permission), I joined Fr. Mike Ford, our director for the Shine of St. Jude, in celebrating Mass for the local Missionaries of Charity on New Year’s Eve. Ever since working in Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying in Calcutta in the ‘80s, I have been a volunteer for the congregation wherever I live. Truly, it is out of self-interest: they quickly humble any stirrings of ego! Anticipating the New Year that night in their chapel, the Sisters were understandably bubbling with excitement at their founder’s soon-to-be elevation to sainthood.
While preparing for Mass, I noticed the artistically drawn reminder in the sacristy that read: “Dear Priest of God, celebrate this Mass as if it were your first Mass, your last Mass, your only Mass.” While heard before, I understood that message in a broader sense. If we superimposed the word ‘day’ for Mass, it would make a fitting, general resolution for the New Year that would cover a myriad of specific ones. The message would be: “Dear Child of God, celebrate each day as if it were your first day, your last day, your only day.” If adopted, what a powerful, all-encompassing New Year’s resolution we would bring to all areas of our lives!
Eucharist means “thanksgiving.” If we lived each day in thanksgiving and as a thanksgiving, it would change our lives from the moment we get out of bed each morning! Each day would become an altar of offering upon which we would lay our petitions, offering our own body, blood, sweat and tears as gifts in thanksgiving.
May our lives in this New Year become a perpetual thanksgiving, an offering of love upon the altar of each day…taking us beyond our own wants and needs to the Christ disguised as our brother and sister before our very eyes.
God bless you for all you do through your gifts and prayers to make that vision a reality wherever Dominicans are educated, formed and minister!
In the spirit of St. Dominic,
Fr. Andrew Carl Wisdom, O.P.,
Director of the Society for Vocational Support &
Vicar for Mission Advancement