The practice of choosing a word for the year has replaced my former practice of making new year’s resolutions. I would like for my life to be an Epiphany this year: a manifestation of goodness and light, grace and joy, gratitude and grief. I want to be open to Epiphanies and Theophanies. These are God-Showings, moments when an awareness of the Holy Mystery breaks into my life. You may be surprised that I included grief as a God-Showing. I have found much grace in grief because it brings me face to face with my vulnerability. Grief is not an enemy; it reminds me that I have the potential to love and be loved. When something or someone I loved has been taken away from me it doesn't mean that my life is over; it just means that I have to figure out how to go on with grace and sometimes it takes a while.I'll take the star as a guide and I’ll try to open my eyes a little wider each day. I will watch myself live. Not quite the same as a resolution! I am not saying that I resolve to do this, but I am saying with a certain amount of passion: this is the way I would like to live—open and awake to God-Showings...even if I don't always like the "showing." I do want to see the truth.
I want to live my life with greater integrity and for me that means living with my eyes open. It also means I need to reflect on how, sometimes, I live with closed eyes. For the new year I have a sign posted on my bulletin board that says, " Open your eyes and watch yourself live." That's scarier than any resolution I ever made.
This year I plan to spend time praying with the gospels about Jesus healing the blind. The first gospel I've chosen is Mark 8:22-26. I chose it because Jesus had to lay his hands on the blind man twice before he could really see clearly. That is definitely the story of my life. One time just isn't enough. I am a slow learner; I have to be taught again and again and again. The hopeful and helpful thing that I know about myself is that I am willing to be taught.
My motto for the year is: Nothing has to be a problem unless I make it a problem.
My word for 2014 is Epiphany. My word for January is Vision. Those of you who have my 2014 calendar will notice I have given you one word to pray each month. For those of you who do not have the calendar I will be posting the new word at the beginning of each month. We can live it together.