Happy New Year! May this year be full of blessing for all of us and our loved ones.
We all know that the start of a new year is a great time for us to assess the past twelve months and then set some goals—or resolutions—for the coming year.
We tend to focus our resolutions on areas like diet, exercise, or finances, but what would it be like if we were to focus on our spiritual lives as well? What would it be like if we were to say, “This year, I want to work on growing in holiness”? As big and vague as this goal may be, there are many ways we can break it down. This year, we want to do just that, and we want to use a popular hymn to guide us. The song “Spirit of the Living God” expresses just how we can work to accomplish our goal: by asking the Holy Sprit to melt us, mold us, fill us, and use us.
Here I Am. Send Me! To help us keep our focus on this goal, we’re going to do something different. Rather than devoting only our January issue to it, we will devote three more issues throughout the year to a different aspect of holiness: “Fill Me,” “Melt Me and Mold Me,” and “Use Me.” And to get us started, this month’s issue will introduce each of these themes to help us set our goals.
If you want the Lord to fill you with his love and grace, just ask him. When I pray or go to Mass, I try to put myself in Peter’s shoes when he told Jesus, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (see John 6:68). Like the woman who anointed his feet with expensive perfume, I offer the Lord the first affections of my heart.
If you want the Lord to melt you and mold you, make it a point to strive for unity. If you want to be molded in the pattern of Jesus, then try to let love cover a multitude of sins and divisions. Strive to listen more than to speak, and work toward pulling down every dividing wall. We know that unity is not always possible, but we can still pray for it and dedicate ourselves to it.
Finally, if you want the Lord to use you, take the prophet Isaiah as your example. After seeing God in a vision, he was moved to cry out, “Here I am . . . send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). This is the natural response that comes when we feel Jesus’ presence in our hearts. We are so touched by his love that we want to serve him in exchange for all he has done for us.
Make Us One! Because the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins on January 18, we are dedicating this month’s special feature articles to ecumenism. We hope you enjoy them. We also hope that these stories will move all of us to pray for an end to all divisions in the Church.
May God bless all of us this year. May this be a year when we all grow in holiness.