Yes, I know it's March. I say "Happy New Year" for two reasons. One, I haven't posted since last November (Yikes! Where did that time go?). Two, I have come to mark this time of year as a new year in a spiritual sense.
I spent last weekend away at a Mothers' retreat at a local retreat center. It is an annual event, and it takes place the first weekend of Lent every year. So we begin with Ash Wednesday, a day to fast, pray, and focus on the penitential season at hand, and almost immediately find time away to pray, go to confession, and be instructed and encouraged by other moms and some perfectly wonderful retreat directors.
Over the last 20 years or so, I have come to more and more fully realize that to truly embrace the anastasis, resurrection, of Easter, we have to more and more fully embrace the aftothysia and thanatos, self-sacrifice and death, that precedes it in lent and Holy Week. So I begin another Lent, a "New Year," resolved to grow in faith, hope, and love, embracing the passion of my Lord with renewed commitment.
"Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord, to the cross where thou hast died. Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord, to thy precious bleeding side."