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Dear Reader

I compose and post these articles with only one desire in my heart: to praise God and to offer modest help on your spiritual journey.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Making New Year resolutions? Perhaps it is the same old list: go on a
diet, get some exercise, be kinder, express more gratitude, and
eliminate debt. Whatever the list consider something easier to do, but
much grander.

Since the 1960's Catholic Popes have declared January 1st as World
Peace Day. There are other dates throughout the year that are chosen
for a day of prayer or action for peace, but consider this date as an
opportunity to reflect on the issues of peace and how you and I can be
a "blessed peacemaker".

Pope Francis issued his proclamation and here is a segment of his
plea. "In my message of peace last year, I spoke of 'the desire for a
full life… which includes a longing for fraternity which draws us to
fellowship with others and enables us to see them not as enemies or
rivals, but as brothers and sisters to be accepted and embraced'.
Since we are by nature relational beings, meant to find fulfilment
through interpersonal relationships inspired by justice and love, it
is fundamental for our human development that our dignity, freedom and
autonomy be acknowledged and respected. Tragically, the growing
scourge of man's exploitation by man gravely damages the life of
communion and our calling to forge interpersonal relations marked by
respect, justice and love. This abominable phenomenon, which leads to
contempt for the fundamental rights of others and to the suppression
of their freedom and dignity, takes many forms. I would like briefly
to consider these, so that, in the light of God's word, we can
consider all men and women 'no longer slaves, but brothers and
sisters' ".

If you follow world news you may have seen reports on human
trafficking and sexual enslavement of girls from around the world.
These same reports have been televised and written about here in the
United States. I will not attempt in this article to go beyond the
scope of just asking for prayer. Those who desire to be informed about
the issue and to take some action can find plenty of information on
the web. As we make resolutions I wish to suggest how we can expand
our hearts and our prayers to the plight of present day slaves. We can
join our prayers to those around the world who sacrifice their lives
to free our brothers and sisters. By prayer we expand our own hearts
and strengthen others.

How in our daily lives can we become peacemakers and instruments of
change? Let us help those enslaved by addiction, those in fragmented
families, and those struggling with financial insecurity. Each of us
can contribute to causes and efforts to make our world a better place.
Make a resolution to volunteer your time to our schools, hospitals,
libraries and other local entities. Make charitable contributions to
individuals in need or legitimate organizations working to free those
enslaved in various ways. Resolve to make our world a better place.

So go ahead with your resolutions, but take a pause to consider peace
and resolve to make our world a better place in 2015. Wishing you the
blessings of health, happiness and peace.

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