Well, 2014 is almost in the history books! In just over an hour the Ball will drop in Times Square and millions will ring in the New Year. Millions have already greeted 2015 in other parts of the world.
With the wave of excitement and anticipation now for the coming of 2015, we can forget that it is still the seventh day in the Octave of Christmas. I am so filled with gratitude that Jesus humbled himself out of love for me and for all of us in taking on our lowly humanity to save us from our sins. “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
I am so grateful to the Lord for the great Solemnity of Christmas and for so many feasts and solemnities that we have celebrated throughout the year. Looking back on 2014 there have been countless blessings that I can thank God for – but there have also been a myriad of crosses to bear, trials to endure, and sufferings to offer up in love. Should I be any less grateful for these things than I am for the blessings? Of course not! Weak human nature balks at the sufferings, but as St. Therese observed, everything is a grace from God’s loving hands and that it was what He did that she loved.
In her beautiful Act of Oblation to Merciful Love St. Therese prayed, “I thank you, O my God! for all the graces You have granted me, especially the grace of making me pass through the crucible of suffering.” St. Therese went so far as to thank God in a special way for her sufferings. I have been quite sick the past four days and I can honestly say that my prayers of thanksgiving to God have not been quite as vibrant as they were before I became sick. This is proof that I’m not quite there yet, but I’m trying to imitate my Little Therese. My prayer is that in 2015 we may all love God more fervently and that we will give Him thanks for all our crosses as well as all our blessings.