I am delighted to share with you that this month’s front section articles come to us from Joe Difato. Those of you who have been longtime readers of The Word Among Us know Joe well. In 1981, he founded The Word Among Us with the help of Scripture scholar Fr. Francis Martin and former IBM executive Tom DiIenno, both of whom are now with the Lord. And for the next thirty-seven years, Joe strove to please the Lord in every article that we published in the magazine.
When they began this endeavor, Joe, Fr. Francis, and Tom had no publishing experience, and the odds that this magazine would survive even a few years were not very high. But along with the original staff members, they did their best to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. They wrote, edited, and typeset that first issue in December 1981 and then printed it on an old printing machine in a garage in Potomac, Maryland. By God’s grace, what began with one thousand copies has grown to the point that more than seven hundred thousand Catholics worldwide receive the print edition, and more than two million people access it online. Maybe, like St. Paul, we could say, “Joe planted, Tom and Fr. Francis watered, but God has caused the growth” (see 1 Corinthians 3:6).
In the first two articles, “The Priority of Prayer” and “Show Me the Way, Lord”, Joe shares how to lay a strong foundation in prayer that will help guide our decision making. Then in his third article, “Where Is God? Asking Hard Questions during a Time of Crisis”, he shows us how to rely on this foundation when difficult times come our way.
Taste and See the Goodness of God. As you know, the heart of The Word Among Us is all about prayer—and not simply “saying our prayers,” but tasting and experiencing God’s presence in prayer and at Mass. Our goal is that all of you, our readers, might “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:9). We know what it’s like to taste a gourmet meal. It’s not just nourishment; it’s an experience that is wonderful. Similarly, in our times of prayer and when we attend Mass, we can experience something wonderful. We can taste and see God’s goodness as we offer him our praise and as we receive him at Communion. We don’t just offer God something in our prayer; we can also hear his voice through his Holy Spirit who lives in us. As Jesus promised, “My sheep hear my voice . . . and they follow me” (John 10:27).
So as you start this new year, I want to encourage you to resolve to make prayer a priority every day. Every morning this year, resolve to seek God’s presence in prayer and Scripture. Whether you have been praying for five days or fifty years, let Joe’s articles this month encourage you to persevere.
May the Lord bless you abundantly throughout 2021!
President, [email protected]